Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Ever Changing Christmas Traditions

Happy Tuesday, Friends! I'm linking up with Becky & Aly to share my family's Christmas traditions! 

Ever since I've been blogging, I've talked about how our traditions have changed for the holidays. That's what happens when your Nana, the matriarch of your family, dies and your parents get divorced in the same year.

Our traditions were always set in stone and we knew what was going to happen every year without fail. We decorated throughout the month and did Christmas crafts and made cookies for the neighbors.

On Christmas Eve, we went to Nan's and there were always tons of beautiful presents under her tree. The presents were always topped with big, pretty bows and there was lots of food too. After we ate, we all headed to the family room to open presents one by one. My dad always held the trash bag for us, I know that. The last few years before Nan died, I managed to stay awake the whole time but you could say a tradition before that was for me to fall asleep.

After Christmas Eve at Nan's, we went home to put cookies out for Santa and sleep fast to wake up in the morning and race to the living room to see what he had left us. Later in the day, my mom's side of the family came over and so did Nan.

But, things are different now.

My dad has 2 siblings; my aunt is jewish and my uncle is agnostic. So Christmas really, was only celebrated because Nan was alive. We don't even see them on Christmas anymore. Or any other holiday, actually. 

Christmas Eve had turned into me going to Drew's grandma's house whom I adore & my mom and brother hanging out together. At Drew's grandma's, we always played Friend's Scene It until everyone got there, ate and then opened presents. It was pretty fun but still not my family. There's a difference. After going there, I'd go to church and sit with my mom and Drew would sit with his family. I do love Christmas Eve service! I'm still not sure what will happen this year with Drew's grandma's house. Tradition's Ever Changing! 

We're lucky that my dad still comes to our house on Christmas Day for us to give him his presents and him to see us open ours. The living room is usually filled with presents to distract me so it's easy to pretend that it doesn't bother me when he leaves right away to go to his girlfriend's Christmas Day celebration. 

My mom's family still comes over on Christmas Day, that part has remained the same.  We all eat a big, fun meal, sometimes play some games and always open presents. 

Oh, and I always get recruited to take tins of homemade cookies and fudge to our neighbors.

Christmas Day night sometimes ends with a trip to the movie theatre, that has been a new installment to the Christmas traditions. 

Either way, Christmas is always really hard for me. I'm kind of tearing up writing this. I mean, my mom does her best to make it fun and to keep some things the same, and I do the same for her now that my Granddad is in the nursing home and she is always sad he can't be with us on Christmas. But it just isn't the same. It will never be. And I haven't spent much time sad about it this year because I know it is what it is, but it still does come up and bite me sometimes like a Big Old Grinch. 

I really can't wait until I have a family of my own and get to start new traditions. I will have a lot of them because I think traditions and family are what really make the holidays special. 

If any of you have had changes like this in your holiday traditions, I'd love to know how you handled them and how you managed to still make the holidays full of fun! 



Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't handle them well. It makes me want to skip Christmas all together!

1. My sister got married and it has completely changed everything. I know she has to compromise with him, but it changes everything for us!

2. Mom would rather go eat Shoney's for breakfast instead of cooking like she has done every year since I can remember. It's just not the same.

3. Most of my family completely sucks and I don't care to see them, now or any other time of year. I always leave feeling worse about myself than when I got there.

Good luck, Ali!

Anonymous said...

this is my first christmas without my grandma, things will be different but it is also my first christmas as a mommy!