Well, hello there!

It feels like it’s been a long time since I posted, but it really hasn’t.  Strange how time feels (versus its reality).

Like, hey, holy cow, this year is almost over!  My 31st year is halfway through! All those things I said I’d get done at work? Due!

Awesome.  Except not.

Remember when I used to write essay-ish posts with real paragraphs and grammatically correct sentences and fewer run-ons?  Okay, maybe not the run-ons, but everything else.  I keep saying I need to get back to that, but then… I don’t.

Today, then, is a random post kind of day.

~~~

Have you finished your Christmas shopping?  I haven’t even begun.  Well, I’ve begun thinking about things and I even made a few little things, but I haven’t ordered the stuff for the big things, nor really decided what to order.  *sigh*  It’s always this way, but I realize I need to get it in gear since the stuff that needs to be mailed should be sent off (gulp) next week, ideally.

This will be the second year my husband and I celebrate Christmas here (versus “there” – where all my people are).  Although I was part of (primarily?) the decision to not travel this year, I am, once again, a bit sad.  His people do holidays so very differently from my people, in much more of a quick-meal-at-a-restaurant (with beer for us kids!) and then we’re off on our own for the evenings.  If we’re not careful, evenings become just another day.  I find this incredibly sad, so we have to start planning our Christmas Eve so we don’t end up sitting around in our pajamas surfing the ‘net.

{At least those pj’s should be new! Christmas! pj’s! and the ‘net surfing should be to watch holiday movies, right?}

Again I come back to the strangeness of adapting to a family so different than my own.  Us: huge, loud, close, extended, celebratory. His: small, nuclear, a little more formal, quicker celebrations.  It also makes me consider how different my children’s childhoods will be from my own.  I saw my cousins and aunts and uncles all the time, knew them well and was very close to them all.  My husband rarely saw his extended family and doesn’t know his cousins at all.  At all!  My kids’ experiences will fall somewhere in between – spurts of crazy togetherness with my side and somewhat more regular (but less party-ish) times with my in-laws.

So, back to the bright side: it was very nice to have a special night with just my husband.  We put on Christmas pj’s and watched “Elf,” then gorged ourselves on a feast (a whole rib-eye roast!).  Perhaps we can wait to wrap presents until Christmas Eve – I love wrapping presents.  We’ll definitely need a fire.  And maybe we can come up with some rituals that we can carry forward once we have kids.  Have I mentioned those Christmas pj’s?

What are your Christmas Eve traditions?  Bonus points for suggesting things that, like my own experiences, don’t hinge on being around a certain group of people.

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7 thoughts on “Well, hello there!

  1. After my parents divorced, my mom, siblings and I searched for a new way to “celebrate” Christmas Eve – as we’d always spent it with my dad’s family. One year we headed into the city (in our case: Boston), window shopped, took a horse-drawn carriage ride, got a new ornament to commemorate the year, and headed home just as the sun began to set for a cozy dinner. New PJs were a must as well. That tradition lasted for years. Coming up with new traditions to honor your new little family will be complicated, but worth it once you have little ones 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  2. We don’t really have any traditions. 😦 We do Christmas eve with one side of Mr. N’s family, and Christmas day with the other side, so we’re usually wiped by the time we get home. I get the feeling that your husband’s family is a lot like *my* family (I don’t know my cousins particularly well, and we frequently had ‘holiday’ dinner at normal dinner time with just me and my parents and very few holiday-ish foods on the table growing up). Mr. N’s is a larger, farm family and they do like to celebrate together (with beer too!). We haven’t even nailed down a good day to open our gifts to each other. I think last year we did it on Christmas eve; the year before that, after Christmas… It’s kind of in limbo i guess.

  3. Ours familues are identical. Mine is just like yours and my huband’s is just like Joey’s except they do drag the holidays out a little more but it’s definitely more formal and quieter than my family’s. With my family, all 50 of us get together and open presents, eat and are loud, It’s when we celebrate Christmas because it was my Grandma’s birthday. My husband’s family celebrate on Christmas day. A special breakfast followed by hours of gift opening and eggnog consumption. At the end of the day there is a fancy homemade meal and lots of wine and probably more nog. I am really happy his family celebrates Christmas though. It’s my favorite time of year. Micah and I always have us time on Christmas eve day. We open a few presents alone together, drink bubbly and watch one or all of the Harry Potter movies in our PJs.

  4. I miss my immediate family’s traditions – I don’t think as a teenager or early 20-something I’d ever think I’d admit that, but I do. I miss our own quirks – our favourite dinner for christmas eve, eggs benny in the morning, opening stockings first, the rest after breakfast, and a turkey dinner — actually at dinner time.

    His family does things very differently.

    Of course, the person that “hosts” christmas gets to choose the traditions, and its become apparently that our one bedroom cabin is not suitable for people to stay at, thus, that counts me out for choosing traditions. Meaning, I’ve always got to sacrifice my own.

    On the flip side, the year that Matt and I stayed together, alone in NYC, for Christmas, we made up totally new, and perfectly us traditions. And it was great! We buy a new Christmas movie to watch on Christmas eve, make brioche french toast deliciousness for breakfast, and open our few gifts before breakfast, but after coffee. We then made a honking lamb roast for dinner. It was lovely.

    The kicker for me is that my family – at least my mom – realizes that not all of us, or any of us, might be home this year, next, or the next. We do what we can. We might stay home and celebrate on our own if necessary. Matt’s family, not the. We won’t have the option to just “bow out” one year – the only respite is if we’re at my family’s place. So until we a) have kids or b) have a bigger place, we don’t get any possibility to do things any other way than _their_ way, which irks me.

    Ah well. Holidays just make me a little weepy in that I miss my people, but never have the option to just do our own thing if we’d like.

    I like the idea of Christmas PJs though….

  5. We’re still figuring out what our traditions will be, but each year we try new things and see what worked and what didn’t. His family is small, quiet, and not very close. I actually like smallter groups over large ones, but that’s because I like the intimacy (which is not present in his family get togethers). I got really sad last year–missing my siblings who didn’t come home that year and missing pre-divorce family Christmas with my parents. It was so rough on me, I convinced Stephan that this year I wanted to be away for Christmas, so we will be Cuba by ourselves.

    Next year we’ve decided we’re staying home, lazily cooking, eating, drinking and socializing, and we’ll extend an all day open house invitattion to all local family members to come and do so with us at their leisure.

  6. Well, this year is new for us. It’s our first Christmas together as a married couple. It will be my first EVER Christmas away from my family. I’m looking forward to spending this first Christmas with my new husband and family and starting new traditions! I’ll bring a few of my family’s to be sure I have a piece of the familiar with me…

    Next year we’ll be with my family!

  7. Historically, Christmas Eve always meant celebrating with my dad’s side of the family: his parents, sister, and her family. Then Dad got a church job, my sister moved away, and she and I both got married. Now Christmas Eve is church, a bit of family time with his parents, driving around to look at lights, hot chocolate/cider by the tree, new pjs (yay!) and bed time. It may be different still this year (our 2nd married Christmas) depending on my husband’s work schedule. My priority? To be sitting next to my man for as long as possible that day.

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