I guess I’m old and stuck in my ways but it makes me sad when family Christmas traditions change. Sometimes they are unavoidable especially when important family members are no longer with us and sometimes they change because certain family members don’t want to be around others or others just want to change them. It’s just sad.
My Dad passed away suddenly the day after Christmas in 1990. We actually stopped celebrating that time of year until my sister got married and had children. I was sorta sad we didn’t celebrate anymore but then again I didn’t want to anymore anyways. Not a good memory ya know? But like I said when my niece came along we slowly got into the spirit again. When I met my husband (even before we got married) I got in on their traditions too. On Christmas eve, his mom and his siblings and their families would all meet up at a local Chinese restaurant, eat a late lunch, then back to his mom’s for snacks and presents. Then when we’d get home we’d either open gifts then or wait till the morning. Then Christmas day we’d wander over to his Dad’s and Step-mom’s for a Christmas dinner. My sister doesn’t live in town anymore so then we’d celebrate xmas with my family when they’d come up which varied each year. This year they are coming the day after xmas. Each year my step-mother-in-law always did a Grandchildren’s Day too where she’d have activities planned for them.
Last year things really started to change after my father-in-law passed away. We still did the xmas eve Chinese and we still went over xmas day but we didn’t feel as welcome since it was just step-mother-in-law and her children and there was the absence of my husband’s father.
This year it seems most of the traditions are out the window. The Christmas that my own child is old enough to appreciate xmas and traditions and family gatherings. We got an email the other day from my husband’s mother that we will probably not go to the Chinese restaurant this year because they’ve had a bad restaurant ratings recently. They are talking about Chinese take out but frankly I’d rather not. My husband’s twin brother and their family still want to go to the Chinese place and said they’d just meet up with us all. Also, mother-in-law says we’ll do xmas at my husband’s sister’s house because her house is bigger (that change is fine because with 10+ children and then the adults the mother-in-law’s house was getting cramped). Also, my husband’s younger brother and his family are going through a rough time right now (drugs, no money etc) and certain family members would just soon not be around them (It’s a whole long drawn out story about his problem and her inability to see that she needs to change a few things as well). I mean I actually do not want to be around them and one of the sister-in-laws is talking about not coming if they are coming. Also, if the step-mother-law has her grandchildren day she said she didn’t particular want them either. It’s all really messed up and sad that their problem has contributed to the change of tradition for everyone. It’s also sad that family doesn’t always want to be around each other during this time. I know it happens in a lot of families…maybe not because one member has a drug problem but for various other reasons.
But other families aside I hope we can start our own Christmas traditions like visiting Santa’s Village, going to the Botantical Gardens to see the Christmas Lights, maybe our own xmas eve snacks and egg nog and opening of presents. I may not be looking forward to celebrations with my husband’s family this year but I truly am for our little family. 🙂 Little Boy will have a great Christmas this year!!!!