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Column: Feeling cute, might wear pajamas to dinner

Some of the best memories of my childhood were from the weeks leading up to Christmas. Of course, I was more than excited to see what Santa had left on Christmas morning, but I also counted down the days to come together with my family.

I have so many cherished memories of Christmas Eve at my grandparent’s house and the truly magical combination of my aunt Nancy’s lasagna to go with a prime rib prepared by Ben’s Foodliner. I still remember the smell of the exciting food combination from the kitchen as I waited by the massive front room window for my cousins to show up so we could run around like wild animals on the shag carpet in the basement.

Now years later, I’m not able to get to my hometown as much as I would like for Christmas, but I still can make new memories with my family.

As I look to Christmas of 2022, it will be very different for my family. This will be the first Christmas without our daughter Mya who passed away earlier this year. While it is devastating that she won’t be around on Christmas Day in her “onesie” pajamas and beautiful smile and energy, we will try to do something special for her.

This Christmas will also be a change because we have decided to take time off, and with Shayla heading to Wyoming to visit family, Melissa and I will have an empty house.

In 2021 we decided to take a week off from publishing the Voice but were helping out at another paper in southwest Wyoming, so we didn’t get any time off.

I am excited and a bit nervous that this year will be different.

I haven’t had more than three days off, and I am not quite sure what to do with seven or eight.

We have talked a bit about going to Wyoming for a few days, but this is up in the air because of the weather. While it would be nice to see family and friends, I look back to the time we went in 2016 and how it took us about 15 hours to go 400 miles. I can still remember being at a standstill on Teton Pass in the middle of the night, wondering what in the world we were doing. I’m at the point I don’t get on bad roads unless I have to, so I won’t be traveling if there is a mess of snow and ice.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, I think it might be a great idea to do a whole lot of nothing.

I am on my phone way too much looking to see what is going on locally or checking a score, and it will just be nice to put it up and not worry about the outside world. I enjoy my job and all the people I work with, but I’m okay with a few days where my biggest worry is what’s for dinner.

I think I will be fine sleeping in without plans for the day. Sleeping in used to mean I would roll out of bed around noon, but now I’m okay with my body letting me slumber until 8 a.m.

I think I could even get some “onesie” pajamas that I could wear throughout the vacation, and I might not even change them if we decide to venture out for a nice dinner.

I’m sure nobody will care that I look like “Darth Vader” as I enter a steakhouse. As my mom always says, “to each their own.”

I know many people who get stir-crazy if they have time off and are stuck at the house, but I think I could manage relaxing and watching my weird cats and how they never seem to get along.

Even if I decide to take a mini-vacation, I don’t think I will leave my mom’s house much other than to see friends and family and eat at some of my favorite places, of course, in my pajamas.

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