JESSICA’S JOURNAL: A column by Jessica Steeley

Christmas is finally here. In a few short days families all over Clarkston—and the world—will be opening presents under the tree on Christmas morning and marveling at all the cookies Santa ate.
I’ll be having an unusual Christmas this year. Almost every year since I can remember I’ve spent Christmas Eve sleeping in the twin size bed in my childhood bedroom, waking up Christmas morning to find presents under the tree. This was the tradition even during my college years.
But my parents and I will be spending Christmas in Nashville this year, at the Opryland Resort. Unfortunately this means there will be no real family Christmas tree to decorate and no dinner with extended family. People might or might not see these things as a hassle, but I’m a stickler for tradition.
Due to my extreme stubbornness on this fact, I’m surprised I agreed to a Christmas vacation in the first place. It probably has to do with moving out and living on my own.
While I don’t pay for every expense I have, it is my first time paying rent and providing most of my own living necessities, and a lot has changed since last Christmas, and every one before that.
Perhaps this is why throwing tradition out the window hasn’t bothered me as much as it used to. I figure I only have a handful of Christmases left before I get married, have children and start making traditions of my own, so maybe I should take some time between now and then to spend Christmas in an unorthodox way.
Though there might not be snow, a real staple of Christmas for us Michiganders, the Opryland offers wonders of it’s own, such as ice sculptures, millions of twinkling Christmas lights and carriage rides.
Despite spending Christmas a few hundred miles south, it won’t quite be warm enough to feel as though I’m having Christmas in July, but 50 degree temperatures could still feel like a big upgrade given the negative degree windshields we’ve been having.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this new Christmas vacation experience turns out. Whether you’re spending the holiday here with family or taking a trip, I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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