23 December 2016
Today I'm taking another turn contributing a post to sprite's Virtual Advent Tour. Before saying anything else, I have to tell you that it has been so great to read everyone's posts this year. I hope she will consider hosting again next year.
Part of what makes the whole thing so interesting is finding out how people "do" holidays. To some degree, it's all variations on a central theme, but I don't think anyone celebrates holidays *exactly* like anyone else.
Now as anyone who knows me knows, I truly love Christmastime. All of it. I like making/buying gifts for others. I like wrapping gifts. I like baking goodies. And I love decorating. Just to name a few things ...
Years ago, I remember reading an article in the newspaper written by a family therapist, and she said that most of the couples who come to her had issues with two topics: Money and holiday traditions. I read that part out loud to The Tim, and then said, "Fortunately, we agree on money issues, and we've never argued about how to celebrate holidays." And he responded, "That's because we've always done it your way."
The short version of the discussion that followed was that first and foremost, he was giving me a hard time, and secondly, there were very few traditions that seemed overly important to his family, so he was more than happy to adjust to how I wanted to do things.
Which is lovely, and we have had wonderful holidays throughout our marriage. And I realize that I do take it all more to heart than he does. Everyone teases me, for instance, about my "Christmas Rules" (many of them), which of course I feel everyone should follow. Intellectually, I accept that everyone does things their own way, and should be able to do just that; emotionally, I am convinced they should follow my example ... ;-)
Having said that, we have adjusted some of our traditions as well as created new ones over the years. Originally, we both used to have jobs where we could either take the week between Christmas and New Year's off, or could take the time off without any problem. So we would travel to be with our families. It was always fun, and there are so many happy memories from those times.
Once The Tim started working in retail, not only did we no longer travel at Christmastime, but we had to adjust to the fact that he couldn't take any time off, and was also required to work six days a week during December instead of only five. Trust me, that took some adjustment! But now it's the usual, and though I would love to be able to see more people and do more things at holiday time, we still have the best time ever.
Traditions are open to interpretation, is what I'm saying. So if there are any of you struggling because you can't do things this year the way you have always done them before, remember that the holidays are supposed to be fun. And no one can have fun if all they can think about is what they are missing.