1. I'm getting ready. I'm too late again. "BROOKE COME ON YOU ALWAYS DO THIS" I hear as I'm trying to perfect a winged eye liner. (It turns out the furthest from perfect that is humanly possible, but I am forced to roll with what I have.)
  2. I'm in the passenger seat as "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" rings in my ears. It's a lie. There is no snow; I'm not even wearing a coat. It's beginning to look a lot like October.
  3. I'm walking through the door trying desperately not to drop the snickerdoodles. I'm greeted with warmth and a familiarity that I will never find anywhere else.
  4. I'm testing out the different chilis for the contest. I vote for the spiciest one because it has the most flavor. I have three bowls. 😬
  5. I'm deep in conversation about my life, my school, my hair. I feel like an adult somehow.
  6. I'm opening my white elephant gift. My candle obsession is indulged. I receive real life mistletoe that becomes the object that starts many jokes throughout the night.
  7. I'm playing a family game. Silly answers create laughs all around.
  8. I'm shoving my face with pumpkin bread, brownies, Oreo balls, and apple pie and not regretting a single bite.
  9. I'm feeling almost complete. I'm with all the people I love other than one glaring exception. My sister is in a faraway land having a different family Christmas. It feels weird, but knowing she's around loved ones too fuels my Christmas cheer.
  10. I'm getting ready to leave. Hugs, kisses, and promises to spend more time together follow me out the door.
  11. I'm home again, lying in my bed, satisfied with the night that just occurred, wistfully wishing it was already next Christmas Eve.