January 20, 2020

By JESSICA MARTIN

Lights? Check. Ornaments? Check. Cheesy family bonding moment, while standing anxiously in the living room about to decorate our traditional family Christmas tree? Also check.

What says corny more than three teenagers and their parents flipping their thumbs up and smiling for the camera while wearing ugly Christmas sweaters? Throw a golden retriever into the mix and we’d be a regular Brady Bunch. But does it bother me?

No. Well, maybe a little bit.

But I have come to realize that I am blessed. As much as they annoy me, make me bite my tongue and swallow my words, I love spending this holiday season with them.

Drawing names for secret Santa and complaining about who we picked. Snowball fights which always turn into violent face washes. Singing Christmas carols with the world’s most off-tune family and competitions to see who can stay the same weight all through the holidays. 

Yes, we annoy each other but we get along. However, there is one thing my mom and I disagree on every year without fail.

“I’m so glad winter is taking so long in coming,” I overheard her say on the phone last night. I glanced out the window at the brown, brittle grass and bare trees and sighed.

Despite my mom’s desire to hold on to fall as long as possible, there’s something sad about seeing Mother Nature caught between the seasons. She’s long since left behind her autumnal glory of scarlet and gold, and stands in a kind of awkward nakedness as she waits for her winter covering of snow.

I say bring on the snow days, the cold wind rattling the windows, long evenings of tobogganing with the family and coming in from the snowy outdoors to sip apple cider by the fireplace.

The snow would make our Christmas sweaters feel like they’ve come out of the closet for the right season and make our Christmas tree feel like it belongs.

Most importantly, the snow would create an abundance of opportunities for my family to indulge in more embarrassing but amusing holiday festivities.

The typical teenage thing to do is complain about our families and I often catch myself doing just that. But deep down, beneath my embarrassment and shame, I would never change the Martin’s cheesy, tacky and delightful way of celebrating the joyous season.

So yes, I guess I am fine with my Brady Bunch.

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