I hope as the weekend approaches you take a moment to consider those Christmas traditions you hold dear. Are you doing things simply because you’ve “always done it that way?” Are you exhausting yourself chasing some self-imposed standard that no longer meets your needs? Instead, I would invite you to consider which activities, decorations, and traditions truly hold a special meaning for you. Pursue those! Have a peaceful and heartfelt weekend!
As you may know, hubs and I have no children. For the record, I had everyone else’s children for the best hours of their days. For.Thiry.Years!
Back in the days, when they found out we didn’t have kids, people would say, “Who will take care of you when you get old?”
My tongue in cheek answers were:
“Having someone to wipe your DROOL is NOT a good reason to have children!”
“I don’t know…I’ll call you from the Caribbean
and let you know how it all worked out!”
Up until now, we’ve spent Thanksgiving in North Idaho with his mom, and Christmas here at home with my family. But things are starting to change. The parents-in-law have all passed on, and the numbers available for big shindigs are dwindling. The nieces and nephews each have their own families and traditions. For the past couple of years, there has been quite a bit of leftovers from a 15-pound turkey!
So this year, hubs and I are approaching our Christmas Traditions with a little more intention. We actually sat (with wine, of course) and had the discussion about which of our traditions should be non-negotiable, and which ones we could reinvent.
Surprisingly, neither one of us was opposed to traveling during the month of November or early December. Or even in January. Both of us want to be in our home for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We will approach certain traditions with mindfulness:
- Decorating our small tree together, with the ornaments we’ve collected from each year since we were dating. Again, wine (or perhaps hot cocoa with Cinnamon Schnapps) will be involved.
- Making my mom’s Divinity recipe
- Baking Christmas cookies – perhaps with my sisters if they’re available. It doesn’t matter that I’ll probably give many away, or put them in the freezer.
- Finding the lights – Putting the dog in the back seat of the pickup, grabbing a couple of Starbucks specials, and going in search of festive lights and decorations.
- Christmas Concerts – We plan to attend as many Christmas art events as we can squeeze in, without getting overwhelmed. Friday night we saw Elf – The Musical, and it was magical! Trans-Siberian Orchestra is coming up!
- The Decorations – We’ve decided that we don’t need to kill ourselves decorating our home for the benefit of others. This year, I decorated only with those items that make my heart sing – The antique Santa toy that belonged to my mom, the carved Santa made by my brother-in-law.
- Christmas Eve – We’re keeping Christmas Eve for the two of us – quality time, outstanding food, warm fire. The reason for the season.
- Charitable giving – For many years, we have filled a local Toys for Tots box. I mean, seriously…just because we have no kids, doesn’t mean hubs isn’t just a great big one! We love shopping in the toy department. He always tends to pick out toy cars, trucks and construction equipment – Go figure! This year, we have another fun idea to try. But that’s another post.
I guess the important part is that we’ve given ourselves permission to intentionally alter or change entirely those tradition we’ve held for years, when they no longer meet our needs. As we age, we don’t want to be seen as “charity cases,” invited to people’s homes because we are old people with no place to go (Ooooooh – that sounds yucky, even to me!) Nope, not us. We’re going to take this holiday bull (or reindeer) by the horns and create our own Encore Holiday Season! Someday, we might even board a cruise ship on the day after Christmas. Who knows! I’ll call you from the Caribbean and let you know how it’s working out!