It’s time for a ’tis the season confession. And here it is: I’ve always been a little terrified of marriage. Nope, not because I’m scared of commitment. Bring that stuff on. And not because I’m scared he’ll wander. Please, I’m a great catch. And not even because it’s a big, scary thought. No, no, I’m scared of getting married because it means that I may not be able to come home for Christmas and wait up for Santa with my sisters and brothers.
I remember the first time I had this thought. Or perhaps I should say panic attack. I was laying in bed one snowy Christmas Eve and suddenly I realized, “Oh my God, what if we all get married and aren’t here forever?” Which I realize is what normal adults do – spend Christmas away from their families. But I don’t want to, dammit! I want to forever be twelve and trading off shifts of who will wait up to hear Santa. (No, this trick never worked. Even with five kids we all fell asleep.)
To be clear, I should tell you that I have the perfect Christmas family. There are five kids. There is a house decorated and smelling of evergreen trees and yummy cookies. There is New York City and snow. There are marathons of classics streaming in the background. I will not stand for a holiday without Meet Me in St. Louis and Miracle on 34th Street. I will not stand for sharing my warm fuzzy time with a family that doesn’t understand that when Judy Garland looks out that window and sings ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, it should bring a grown woman to tears.
Don’t worry though, I’ve figured out a solution to this epic problem. Most people want to marry within their faith so that they can share holidays like Christmas. Not me. You know what I want? I want to walk down the aisle with someone of a completely different faith whose parents could care less if we go to my mom’s every single year and wait up for Santa. Because lets face it – who really wants to be at the in-laws for the holidays?
In the immortal words of Ms. Garland’s vibrato, “Someday soon we all will be together. Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow.” I spend my year muddling through. I will not let a little thing like marriage and starting my own family get in the way of my time with my first loves – my sisters and brothers. Here’s to being forty, crammed into a house with brothers, sisters, new husbands and wives, nieces, nephews and probably one mother (and grandma) who can’t wait for us to all take off!