Leg two of the Washington Christmas Trip. 393 miles and seven and a half hours.My immediate family (Dad, Mom, Gretchen) has always opened our gifts to each other on the 22nd or 23rd. It’s our tradition, driven by our annual road trip back to Colton for Christmas. The joy of having both of your parents be from the same small town is that both sets of grandparents only live six miles apart. So whether we lived in Helena, Bozeman, Federal Way or Bozeman again, the four of us would always pile in the car for the trip “Home” to Colton.
Then Christmas Eve is with my mom’s side of the family, the Heitstumans, and my dad’s side is visited on Christmas Day. It’s a lot of food, laughter, family and loudness. And I love it. I love that the holiday gets stretched out over four or five days.
My mom though, has always been bothered by the idea that the four of us don’t have any Christmas traditions. Since my parents now live only a half an hour from Colton, my mom tried to institute a new Christmas tradition of opening presents on Christmas day. Gretchen and I, however, are insistent that we continue our tradition of opening them earlier, at night, after a fun dinner. Apparently what we’ve been doing for the last 26 years doesn’t constitute a tradition. We’ll see who wins.