Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. It always has been.
My parents throw a party on Christmas Eve, at their house. The family who is visiting that year will be there, and so will the neighbours. I grew up in a small town. And in a small subdivision, filled with families. Most of my best friends in the world grew up on the same street as I did.
When we were all kids, we would play in the basement, while our parents had a few drinks upstairs. It was a way to contain us all, until it was time for bed, and time for Santa to come. We would eat cookies and talk about all the awesome things that we were hoping for the next morning.
As we got older, the party spread. More neighbours came. More of our friends got invited. And our boyfriends. And their parents. As teenagers we hung out in the basement, watching MuchMusic. We were too cool to be excited for Christmas, so we watched music videos and played pool instead.
Once we all went away for university, we began looking forward to the neighbourhood party even more. We knew that it was the one night that we would all be in the same place. All of us childhood friends. We sent emails to each other in anticipation. We knew that everyone would be home together that night. We could now have a drink, eat some cookies and talk about the things that were going on in our lives.
Eventually we began bringing our girlfriends and boyfriends. Who would be spending Christmas with our families. Then came husbands, fiances, partners. There was less time spent in the basement, and more time spent with our parents, and our friends parents, talking about jobs, futures, weddings and children.
In the past few years, not everyone has been here. Now that we are all adults, sometimes we have to spend Christmas with our significant other's families. Two years ago, I missed Christmas Eve at home. Last year, my ex traveled with me, and we spent Christmas Eve here, with the family and the friends.
This year, we will have a small crew. Since most of the neighbourhood kids had been planning on spending New Years Eve with me (and thus, their families) they planned to spend Christmas Eve with their partner's families. Many have traveled away, and have made other plans.
But there will still be a few of us. My best friend. My sister. And we will certainly spend some time drinking. And laughing. And talking about the future.
And hopefully, next year, I can once again feel like this is truly the best time of year. And hopefully next year I can bask in the love of the family and friends who will be together to celebrate this truly traditional time of year.