I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of change. Change is inevitable, but it takes me a while sometimes to adjust to it and feel at ease. October through December is my favorite time of the year, and I look forward to everything that comes with the holidays during these months. That being said, holiday traditions change as we get older, and I have been feeling it the past couple of years.
I am the oldest of four children. From the time my siblings and I were little to early adulthood, my dad’s twin (whom my family adored) used to fly out from New York every Thanksgiving for a week. We would play board games every night, see all the new movies in theaters, cook our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and have the time of our lives. He passed away about 5 years ago, and the first Thanksgiving after his death was very difficult. We had to adjust to our new normal, and we missed him dearly.
The next big holiday tradition change came with the birth of my children. While children bring joy and a new perspective to the holiday season, things change. For example, Black Friday shopping (which I love to do) can be interesting. My husband and I can no longer go see all of the new movies in theaters like we used to around Thanksgiving. Kids get sick (or parents get sick as a result) and plans shift. Plus, the pressure kicks in to be at various holiday events for my kids.
The most recent significant change came with the birth of my niece. When she was born, my sister had to balance spending time with our family in addition to her significant other’s family so everyone could see their sweet baby. This was a priority before her child was born, but balancing family time becomes even more important with the birth of a child. This shift also changed my family’s traditions, since we wanted to accommodate my sister and have her be at our family events too.
Throughout all of these changes, the holidays have still remained a time of joy for me. Now that my kids are getting a little older (3 and 5), their joy and sense of wonder has become especially contagious. Their excitement and eagerness has fueled my joy and helped me adjust to all of the changes. Their joy and wonder has made me appreciate the changes in holiday traditions and helped me focus more on my own little family (my husband, two boys, and me).
The new traditions we have created are beautiful, and it’s comforting to see how my husband and I have intertwined our own holiday traditions into the new ones we have established for ourselves and our precious boys. As I have spent time reflecting on this, I know this is how it’s supposed to be…we grow, holiday traditions change, and we create new ones; ones that are just as wonderful as the old ones.