Last night, good Dr. Steve and I participated in one of our favorite holiday traditions: watching the wonderful Christmas movie, A Christmas Story.
As we laughed along with Ralphie and his friends, we made the same comments we make every year. "That kid looks just like my Dad, when he was little!" said Dr. Steve. In singsong, I chanted "Mommy's little piggy!" right along with Ralphie's mom.
Just as we have for the last 18 years, we turned to one another at the end and said, "That is the best Christmas movie ever made!"
Earlier in our marriage? Meshing two sets of holiday traditions wasn't as simple as watching movies together. His way, her way needed to become our way.
How did we simplify and harmonize two sets of holiday traditions?
From the start, it wasn't a simple--or quick--process to come up with a set of traditions that were truly ours. Working around our respective expectations, and the viewpoints of our children and parents, the celebration careened back and forth between traditions during our early years.
For me? Having children had softened my "No Early Christmas!" stance, but I'd held firm to "No Christmas until after my birthday, December 7th!" Until I married Dr. Steve, that is, and was converted to "Decorate the house on Thanksgiving weekend!"
In turn, Dr. Steve gave up certain of his own family traditions, involving multiple cocktail parties at multiple country clubs, all requiring neckties and pantyhose (ugh). Two teenaged step-children brought that one to a screeching real-world halt after a single, dressed-up year.
Now, twenty-five years into marriage, we've passed through the fire and into a nice, comfortable frying pan. Like the linens and the cooking pans, our traditions are finally ours.
Jumbled and homely, they're products of negotiation, transition, and just plain getting older.
We've mixed old favorites, like opening a gift of something warm to wear on Christmas Eve, with new creations, like the "Travel Tree" displaying ornaments and souvenirs from our trips around the world.
Our traditions are simpler. They're less stilted and more fun.
And not one of them has come from a women's magazine. How? Check out today's essay and Simplify Holiday Traditions!
Then use our printable Holiday Tradition Tracker to record the meaningful and the fun activities you share with family this year. They're traditions in the making!
To Do Today
Complete all gift shopping and craft gifts. Wrap and mail send-away gifts by December 6.
To Read Today
Simplifying holiday traditions? You'll do less and enjoy it more!
Bursting with the tastes of the season, Candy Cane Cookies are my eldest child's all-time favorite recipe! Melting, tender cookies shaped and colored like candy canes, Candy Cane Cookies are flavored with sparkles of crushed peppermint candy.