On the eve of Christmas my mom would cook a beautiful Christmas Eve dinner. I was responsible for setting the table and I took that task very seriously. I would make sure all the plates and spoons were perfectly aligned. I tested out many types of napkin decorations, such as a turkey and a crown. My absolute favorite dish was and still is my mom’s sweet potato casserole. The casserole tasted like joy, safety, and holiday cheer. I know that sounds a little cheesy, but it was delicious.

After dinner, the whole family piled into our station wagon and attended candlelight service at our church. At the end of the service, candles were passed out to all the patrons of the church. We lit the candles and sang the song Silent Night before being dismissed. I loved the lighting of the candles, because my brother, my sister and I would compete to see who could handle hot wax dripping on our finger longer without getting fussed at by our parents.

After candlelight service, we would pile back into the car and drive around and look at Christmas lights. As the years went on, and we got older, we stopped looking at the Christmas lights, and we would marvel at the beautiful homes in the fancy side of town. To this day, I carry this tradition on with my husband and kids.

Once we arrived back at the house, my mom would put on Christmas music and my dad would build a fire. We ate dessert and had coffee. To wrap up the evening we listened to a devotional, led by my father and  then my brother and my sister and I were able to open one gift.

I love Christmas and everything that comes with this festive Holiday. I go over and beyond with my decorations and embrace the Christmas spirit wholeheartedly. I am the type of person to celebrate Christmas in June if given the opportunity. However, I struggle with feelings of guilt surrounding my enjoyment of this Holiday. For many adoptees, holidays can be a source of anxiety and reminders of what could have been. I recognize the privilege I have by having the opportunity to enjoy this holiday. Growing up, Christmas was a time when everything seemed so perfect. Some of my favorite childhood memories were during the Christmas season.