We joke that our future husbands and wives will have to sign a prenup agreeing that they will never ask us to spend Christmas anywhere else. We joke, but we're also serious. My boyfriend of 5 years, Nick, has never asked me to do anything else, and he never would (yes Mom and Dad, even if we had kids!). So I go to North Carolina every year, and he goes to Miami, and then we meet up for New Year's Eve, which works perfectly for us.
We even have the same tree every year - it's the one you can see me decorating top left. Some kids have memories of picking out a fresh evergreen tree every year, but not me. I have memories of unloading the tree from its cardboard box, memories of passing my dad wiry branches labeled with color coded tape. I actually still forget that most people have real, living trees - I'm still always a little bit surprised when I realize that other people didn't grow up helping their dad build the Christmas tree in the living room every year.
I know logically that the five of us won't be able to be together for every Christmas for the rest of our lives. Things happen. People move, get married, have jobs, have kids, even die. And we can't guard against all of these things forever - I wouldn't want to, anyway. Life has to happen, and it has to change. But I will keep coming home every year for Christmas, for as long as I can, to spend the day with as many of the people who I love as I possibly can.