From what I can gather, there are two schools of thought when it comes to marriage and family. There’s the “leave and cleave” school — where two consenting adults leave their families of origin, cleave to one another and form their own new family — and there’s the “you marry the family!” school — where, upon marriage to another consenting adult, you find yourself married to their family, also.
I don’t ascribe to either of those philosophies. At least, not entirely. Even though my husband and I do, in fact, constitute a family unit, we haven’t entirely ditched our old families either. Similarly, I don’t recall actually marrying Bret’s family. (Pretty sure I would have remembered that part of the ceremony.) If anything, it feels more like we were adopted by each other’s families — at 24 and 26, respectively.
But what does that have to do with Advent, you ask? Perfectly valid question.
Advent — the time of preparation for the birth of Christ and Christmas — is the perfect time to evaluate (or reevaluate) the way that we celebrate the season. Last year (our first married Christmas) we had a “go with the flow” sort of holiday. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Up North with my in-laws and then re-celebrated two days after Christmas with my family. This year, we’re changing things up — mostly due to the fact that Bret is going to have to work for most of the holiday.
Most notably, we are going to be hosting Christmas Eve. At our house. (Commence the freakout.) This is a big step for us because both of our families have strong Christmas Eve traditions that we probably won’t be carrying into our celebration. (Mostly involving food. Because food is the number one tradition for every family and every holiday.) Instead, we’re going to make our own traditions.
For an added twist, most of the “traditions” we’re going to make this year probably won’t be traditions at all. Bret and I recently had a discussion after I read a post by Amelia about how some traditions end up being more stressful than enjoyable. With than in mind, we’ve opted to make our Christmas Eve celebration as meaningful and enjoyable as possible — with no pressure to make any new traditions. If we like how it works out, maybe we’ll do it again. If we don’t, then we won’t.
So that’s where we’re at with the whole tradition thing. Which makes me wonder, what are your traditions? How’d you make them and do you still enjoy them all?