Families, traditions, and holidays

“Oh oh oh oh oh! Try everything!”

Home Free’s cover of the song from Zooptopia pumps through my speakers for the countless time this week. I’m pretty sure I sing this in my sleep now.
My hot morning coffee is about to become my cold afternoon coffee. Maybe if I stick an ice cube in I could convince myself I wanted iced coffee all along.
I still have Christmas decorations that need put away and a tent we got as a present hiding under my coffee table because I haven’t wanted to go out in the cold to reorganize our storage closet. But thats really the only evidence left from Christmas.
So that means it’s the perfect time to discuss holidays right?

“Uh, Kimberly? It’s almost February.”

I know, I know, but there was actually a reason for why I wanted to post about these all together. This year we did something new. Let me explain…

Holidays are synonymous with family for me. I grew up with only 2 sibling but lots of cousins that we are very close with. We had noisy, loud holiday dinners with lots of food. And I loved them! As we all grew up and grew larger in numbers things changed, but it was still one large family gathering. Then I married the Hubster and my family grew even bigger, and it is so awesome.

Balancing holidays did become a little bit harder though. And as we had kids, it became even harder. Some of family members involve a lot of driving to go see, some are close by, and we tried so hard to be at as many different holiday gatherings as we could.

We loved it but, want to know a secret?

It all became a little exhausting. Now, I am not saying seeing the family isn’t worth the effort. I don’t believe that at all! I love our loud noisy families and will continue to enjoy going over there even if it means coming home wiped out. Its fun being in the midst of chaos, seeing people you maybe haven’t seen in a while, reliving old family traditions.

It was the old traditions that got us thinking though. We are our own little family, and our kids are (hopefully) going to have fond memories of our holidays we spent together. The thing was, we didn’t really have any just our little family traditions. We were so worried family would miss out having the kids at their parties we kind of put our own little holidays to the side. And again, there is nothing wrong with the kids going to all their grandparent’s for Christmas, but we were missing out on making memories with our kids.

We sat down and did a lot of discussing. We didn’t want to just stop going to family, but we knew we needed to make a change. We decide to make this a low key year. Specifically, we chose to stay home and have our own Thanksgiving dinner just us this year. We had never, in the 4 years we had been married, had our own Thanksgiving. This was something that bothered the Hubster and so, we told family as they invited us to dinner, “Thank you but this year we’re staying home.”

I’m not going to lie, it did feel a little weird and we might have come across as a bit selfish, but guys, it was absolutely wonderful! All of our favourite dishes were on the menu, I roasted my first turkey, Little Man helped me make pie, and when dinner ran a bit late we just spent more time together playing with the kids and dancing to music. I might have also snap chatted my sister, who was having her first Thanksgiving with her new Hubby.

 

 

Next year we will be back at family’s for Thanksgiving dinner and we will love that too. It might be a year or two before we do a private Thanksgiving again, but we will do it again. Thanksgiving- heck, any holiday really- is about being together with family. But, in our case at least, we kind of forgot that once you get married you become your own family. And that little family is just as important to have memories and moments for too.

Which is also what led us to declare Christmas Day as officially “ours”. Meaning, quite simply that unless we are going to church, Christmas will be spent at home, just us. Oh yes, there will still be plenty of time before and after that we will go to the Papas and Nana’s and Gigi’s to celebrate with them. But this gives us one day to set up our traditions and spend time together.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I come from a big family. Family is very important to me and will continue to be, but I am learning that there is nothing wrong with setting aside time for your little family, to create brand new traditions (like our traditional Christmas dinner of homemade sushi), to take a little breather if you need it. If you are newly married, or maybe you’re going to have your first holiday season with your kid, by all means go to Great Grandpa Fred’s and to your husband’s parents, go make memories with old family as a new family. But don’t forget to make a little time in there for you guys too. Make traditions with your husband that are different from what you did as kids, pass on things you guys used to do to your kids so they can have those memories too. Celebrate with all the family and celebrate with just your family. 🙂

 

 

And my coffee is officially cold now 😛

 

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