While I feel like Cleveland is my home 364 days out of the year, Christmas is the one day where things feel a little out of place because our family isn’t here.
Today, for instance, has consisted of a quiet day of Scott and I playing Marvel vs Capcom 3 (I won!), exchanging tidings with our families over the phone, and enjoying the new Doctor Who Christmas special later on.
There are a few upsides to this. We’re able to relax, plus not being with everyone on Christmas Day has given rise to new holiday family traditions.
For instance, this Saturday will be the 6th year of my family’s annual “DiGiandomenico Christmas pilgramage” when my parents, sister and I meet halfway between here and Virginia for lunch and gift-exchanging.
It’s also given Scott and I the opportunity to build our own Cleveland family – made of the friends and coworkers that have become a huge part of our life since moving here.
I know my blog mostly focuses on the places and events I love about Cleveland. However, my #1 reason for staying here is the people – especially everyone’s hospitality this year in making us feel like we’re home with family.
From my first White Elephant Exchange to holiday cookie baking, pretzel making, Christmas Eve dinner and Mass, Scott and I are incredibly thankful for our friends who welcomed us into their Christmas traditions this last week.
Which was the one gift I really needed under my tree.
And now I have a gift to give – 2, in fact. After putting the entries into Random.org, I have two winners of the Damn Right I’m From Cleveland giveaway.
Congratulations, entries number 3 and 35 – @MryJhnsn from iNeedaPlaydate and Jen Daddario, for each winning a copy of Mike Polk’s new book. I will email you to confirm your prize.
If you still need a belated holiday gift for someone, you can pick up Damn Right I’m From Cleveland from Cleveland publisher Gray & Company for only $14.95 or find it in local bookstores: www.grayco.com/stores/index.shtml.
And I hope you and yours have a great rest of your holidays!