I have lived in Seattle for over 15 years and this was the first year I have ever hosted my family for Christmas. I am going to be honest, hosting out of town guests is stressful. You spend so much time prepping for their arrival – thinking about accommodations, setting agendas so they have the best experience, making reservations and food plans – it’s a lot! But once you get past the logistics of it all, there is nothing like spending time with your family during the holidays.
When it was all said and done, I hosted 15 family members for 15 days in Seattle due to work schedules and travel plans. My older brother, who had never been to visit before now, came a week earlier than everyone because he had to work over Christmas. That was a bummer, but I loved having him in Seattle with me! A day after he left, my mom arrived. She was here a day by herself and then the next day my little brother and his family came. The next day my aunt, cousins, and youngest niece arrived. The last to arrive were my oldest nephew and my older niece and her family. Yep, it was a big crew!
We rented an airB&B in West Seattle that had enough space for all 14 of us. The house wasn’t one of those aesthetically pleasing homes you see all over Instagram and Pinterest, but it we made it feel like a home for the week we were there. I packed up the Christmas tree and all my holiday decorations so we could have the full experience of being “home” for the holidays. We also did some serious grocery shopping so we could enjoy breakfast everyday as a family. We even cooked Christmas dinner together.
In between the cooking and decorating and watching holiday movies, we got to get to know each other better and spend quality time with each other. It is still wild to me that I have grown nieces and now an adult nephew. Like, where did the time go? My babies are all grown up. My oldest niece even has a family of her own now. It was so much fun playing with my great nephew. He wasn’t seeing it for me this time around but as the world’s greatest auntie, you know I don’t give up. In the words of Jennifer Holiday, “you’re gonna love me!”
We also did some typical touristy exploration of the city, stopping by the Seattle Center for the Christmas Market and getting lost in Pike’s Place Market. It was pretty cold but we made the most of it. We enjoyed hearty bowls of ramen and tons of soup dumplings, danced with the nutcracker and toy soldiers at snowflake lane, sang Christmas carols at church, and laughed and cried while watching the Color Purple on Christmas night. Oh, and we wore matching pajamas because that is the holiday tradition that keeps on giving!
Next year, I’m looking forward to not hosting, but it was so much fun having my family celebrate the gift of Christ in my adopted home of Seattle.