And cue the water works…

The holiday season always makes me super emotional. The heart wrenching stories on the news get me, every single time. I think back to years past and all the wonderful times in my life, and get sentimental. I feel like I’m not the only one, thankfully, but it definitely gets worse the older I get.

Growing up, Christmas was a huge deal. I was raised in a Catholic family (the kind of old school Catholic family where my grandfather’s older sister was a nun, because that’s what the oldest daughter did) so church was a big part of our celebration. I remember being so excited to go shopping for my Christmas Eve mass dress, and my Christmas day dress every year. The amount of crushed velvet and lace I wore was astounding.

My family would gather at my grandparents house after mass on Christmas Eve for stuffed cabbage rolls (which for the record, I hated with every fiber of my being. I ate just enough so that I was allowed to have pie), pie, and then we’d get to open a few presents.
Cabbage Rolls
See, these don’t even look appetizing. Ugh, I shudder just to think about them.

Christmas these days means I think about how wonderful, yet crazy my life has been. It usually starts with the current year. My running life was solidified this year as I’ve posted about recently both here, and as a guest post for my friend Lisa on her blog for her business, Wailani’s. The rest of my year started full of promise, fell to a low point quickly, and definitely picked back up.

It quickly then goes back to where I was a year ago, two years ago, 5 years ago, and so on. I’ve been blessed with some pretty amazing opportunities, experiences, and memories. Even if some of those now bring sadness or tears, eventually they’ll bring happiness, because I firmly believe everything you go through happens for a reason.
Marilyn Quote
Image from

So this holiday season, I’ll remember the crazy fun times, like holiday parties in Grad school.
Cyanne- Grad School
The silly times, like getting colored pocket jeans in junior high.
Colored Pocket Jeans
And the times I’ll never forget, like putting my Nana’s homemade ornaments on my own tree after spending my childhood examining each one because I thought they were the most amazing things in the world. And now I know, they are.
Nana's ornaments

And with each of those, I’m pretty sure I’ll cry. Because apparently that’s what happens when you get older.

What do you remember most about your childhood holidays?
Were you also forced to wear ridiculous outfits every year?
What’s one tradition you still do today that you’ve always done?

5 thoughts on “And cue the water works…

  1. ari @ whatarisaid

    Yeah I think I’m more sentimental as I get older these days too. No sweet traditions at my house other than waking up too early and dying to open presents lol

  2. You don’t like stuffed cabbage rolls? Oh man, send all of your leftovers on over to me in Cleveland. I love those! We were at a buffet a few months ago that had those and I must have had at least 10 of them.

    One tradition that we still do even though I’m married and we have to split the holidays amongst multiple families is spending Christmas Eve with my dad. I can’t recall a Christmas Eve when I haven’t been at my dad’s house. My parents are divorced, and seeing everyone during Christmas has been a major juggling act for each of my 32 years. Early on in my life, I found myself going to my dad’s on Christmas Eve, spending the night there, and then spending Christmas morning with my mom. Nowadays, we spend Christmas Day with my wife’s family, but Christmas Eve is still reserved for my dad.

    1. My Dad always got Christmas Eve for my brother and I post divorce too! Now he is in FL so he gets no one for Christmas, and my brother spends it with his wife’s family, but I still spend it with my dad’s side of the family.

      Maybe my grandmother overcooked or under seasoned them, but I just remember it tasting like a big pile of bitter mush. Ugh.

  3. I too was raised in a strong Catholic family and had so much fun shopping with my mom for my Christmas Eve dress and Christmas Mass dress. We spent Christmas Eve at my Grandpas and ate sweet bread and coffee (yes, I was allowed to have cafe con leche). I loved getting together with all my cousins and singing Christmas carols.

    I didn’t have to wear velvet but boy were there ruffles, lots and lots of ruffles and tights which I loathed so very much.

    Unfortunately, since I have not lived close to home in a long time and my husband is not Catholic we’ve just kind of made our own traditions. The only thing I still do is leave my Christmas tree up until January 6th. My mother lost my twin brothers while giving birth to them on January 6th, 1973. My mother always keeps the tree up until after the 6th in remembrance of them and I have done the same since I’ve had my own tree.

    I hope you have a very Merry Christmas love!

    1. Adriana, I’m so sorry about your brothers, but what a beautiful tribute you can pass down through your family. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your new ones ❤️

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