Thoughts, Weekend

Building Traditions

Growing up is fun, right? It’s a fun bundle of feeling like an adult, and also needing an adult. An adultier adult. Anyone with me? Like, there are times when something comes up, and I’m like, “can’t my dad take care of this?” Except my dad is in New Mexico, which is like, 22 hours away, and I’m the adult and the one who needs to make the decision on my 401k or whatever.

It has recently struck me that in being an adult, there are a lot of life-creating perks. I’ve written about building our own families, and creating opportunities to travel to see the world, and live in the cities we want to live in. But now, with the holidays approaching, I’m thinking more about traditions.

Growing up, I had a lot of wonderful traditions with my family. We always put the tree up the weekend (often the day) after Thanksgiving. On Christmas Eve, we would have red chile, tamales, and the most delicious queso ever during a holiday party, where I would get to see more family and friends at our home. We would go to Midnight Mass, and open one present, which were always our Christmas pajamas.

On Christmas Day, we would eat eggs and red chile (one of my favorite, most holiday-y meals still), open the rest of our presents, and then watch movies. As we got older, we often went to the movies that afternoon as well. My uncle, aunt and cousin almost always came in for the holiday, and we’d spend the week going to Ruidoso (small mountain town in the snow), drinking hot chocolate, and going to other Christmas-y things in our town. It was full of very family-focused, wonderful traditions.

Now, as an adult, we have more obstacles. First, just having two sides (Josh’s and mine) makes things interesting enough. Josh’s family also celebrates on Christmas Eve, and so for much of our 10 years dating, we would go back and forth between our families for our own traditions. This was fun, because we got to keep our own childhood traditions alive a little longer.

But as things happen, life got complicated. People got new jobs, moved around, and had different schedules. My sister Jess and I both have two sides to see. Josh has new family to consider. Jess’s husband (my brother-in-law) has a super adorable daughter from his first marriage, and so they have to consider her, and the plan with her, every Christmas. Then, Josh and I moved away to Georgia, and Josh got a job with a company that hits peak season in December, making it hard to travel.

We’re faced with the uncomfortable reality of being adults (read, growing up), and figuring out our own traditions as well. We don’t have any kids yet, but I want to start our own traditions that will allow my kids to come into our family with some established traditions. Currently, we have one set tradition: putting up the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, watching the Grinch while we do so. I’m excited to figure out which ones we want for our family!

What traditions do you have? Which ones are different from your childhood traditions?

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