Why Holiday Traditions Mean So Much to Me

We are only a few weeks away from Christmas, and guess who hasn’t gone shopping? Well, I’ve gone shopping, but not for other people. I just sort of assumed I would only get something for my 4 year old cousin, and maybe my friend’s 8 month old baby, and that the adults would fend for themselves. I certainly haven’t been expecting to get anything for Christmas, that is, until my dad called me the other day harassing asking me if I got his message about asking what I wanted. I told him an Amazon gift card. Then my mom brought up gifts to my grandmother. I’m thinking “oh, so we’re doing this.”

I hate procrastinating, although I am the master of it. It’s now December 7, and I don’t have gifts for anybody. I haven’t really given much thought as to what I’m going to get anybody. The past few years, I just haven’t been in the Christmas spirit. Last year, we didn’t put up our tree or decorate our townhouse, but we visited hubby’s uncle’s house (pictured). The previous year, we had a tree in our apartment, but instead of exchanging gifts, we got the iPad. Other Christmases since hubby and I have been together have been relatively low key. I remember one Christmas in particular, we were both pretty broke, and got each other a lot of little things.

As of the past few years, Christmas has been sort of a sore spot for me. Growing up, Christmas was huge, a big deal. I spent half the day with one side of my family, and the other half with the other side of my family. I got just about everything I wanted, and always had multiple things to open. But it was more than the gifts. It really was about family. I loved the feeling around Christmas time, with my house smelling amazing, our huge tree with mounds of presents growing and growing. Ripping the wrapping paper like I was getting paid to do it, waking up anyone who dared sleep in, getting dressed up just to stuff my face with food. It was awesome.

I know Christmas is a bigger deal when you’re a kid anyways, especially because of the gifts. But Christmas is a bit painful for me because the traditions are gone. The songs that would blare through the house remind me of what used to be. There’s no more sense of family because my parents are all divorced (I say all because I have had 4 parents). So there’s no waking up at my house then going to my dad’s house. I won’t see my siblings, let alone my cousins and other relatives through marriage and blood. There’s no decorating the house, counting down with our custom calendar, watching and reciting A Charlie Brown Christmas (which I did by myself last week) or family Pokeno matches.

This year, my mom is scheduled to work and my grandparents are going to the casino, so we don’t even have a tree at home besides 2 smaller ones. So I’m decorating my desk area at work. I got excited shopping for the things because these ornaments and decorations can mean a new tradition for me for Christmas, at least as far as work is concerned. Wherever I work in the future, I’ll take these things with me: the small tinsel tree, blue & pink garland and ornaments, my silver jingle bells, and pink plush stocking. It’s a chance to have something to look forward to again this time of year.

I’m considering going to Vegas for the holiday, and staying at my other grandparents’ house since they’ll be out here. That could be a tradition hubby and I start until we grow our own family. I really do miss that feeling of everyone being together. He’s not big on having a bunch of people over, but man, I miss it! I would love to host Christmas at my house when I have one of my own. I’d like traditions for other holidays too, but Christmas is the big one. It was always about family.

What are your Christmas or other holiday traditions?

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