James and I met in December 1999, so we had been together for just shy of a year when we had our first Christmas together in 2000.
I had been having some problems with extreme pain in my side, which had been going on for years, when I finally had a doctor recommend a laparoscopy to see if I had endometriosis. I had that surgery on December 18th, so our first Christmas was spent with me recovering from surgery and James having to pick me up off the floor in the kitchen of our apartment because I was bound and determined to make the perfect Christmas dinner and overdid it. That was the first of many Christmases I ended up in tears over dinner-everything was almost ready and I realized I had not turned on the oven like I thought I had so the ham wasn't actually cooking. Eventually, James asked me to stop preparing big dinners so we could try to have a holiday dinner in which I wasn't crying.
Holidays were always a bigger deal to me than to James. He just felt they were another day, but he didn't try to squash my enthusiasm for them. We would exchange gifts in the morning, have dinner around 2:00 or 3:00 and watch a movie or two. I find now that he is gone I try to treat them like they are any other day-it's much less painful that way.