Every family has some kind of holiday tradition, I think. Whether that is Christmas or Hanukkah or Festivus or Football, I think most of us grew up with traditions and then added to or edited as we started to celebrate on our own. Before I got married my favorite and best Christmas tradition was me waking up in a quiet apartment on Christmas morning, listening to Christmas songs while I drank hot chocolate, curled up on the couch, reading Christmas stories and/or Luke 2. Extra bonus points if it was snowing. I would always go visit family for lunch and spend the day with them, but Christmas morning was mine.
Of course, when you marry into a family with a couple of half-grown kids you really cannot justify such a tradition on Christmas morning. So, presents and breakfast and noise and giggles and laughter are the order of the day. And when you move to a new state a few weeks before Christmas and are not actually spending the holidays in that state anyway…well, Christmas everything is reduced to a minimum.
I hung a wreath because I found it while I was moving.
We have a large poinsettia on the dining room table.
For the first time I am sent Christmas cards, more than 100 of them!
I have loved the ones we’ve already received at our new house and hung them all up (with a very fancy string+command strip hooks situation, best idea ever).
I’ve been listening to Christmas music all day, loudly, because there are no coworkers nearby to irritate
I have finished my Christmas shopping, and most of the gifts are wrapped…but they are all in Utah still because I didn’t see any point in hauling them 700 miles south only to turn around and haul them back again for unwrapping.
But, no Christmas tree this year, no lights outside, no growing pile of presents. And honestly, it’s not terrible. I mean, I would love a really tall fragrant fir in the living room and twinkly lights in all the windows and piles of Christmas cookies and everything. But ultimately, that’s not what Christmas is actually about. It’s about love, Christ, spending time with family, and showing kindness and charity to others.
So, I’m reading the Bible and Christmas stories, researching charities and places to donate to help others, and enjoying a much simpler Christmas overall. I’m sure next year I’ll overcompensate with the biggest tree Arizona can offer, but for now, my poinsettia and Christmas tunes will do.
What are your Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus traditions? Are you having a traditional holiday this year? Or are you doing something else?