In my family, we celebrate BIG on Christmas Eve, and then get together again on Christmas day to discuss what Santa brought, eat copious amounts again, and enjoy each other’s company once more. It’s a tradition much older than I am, and something I greatly fear losing. But this year brought some changes.
First, my sister didn’t wake up with me to walk downstairs and see the Christmas morning tree in all it’s glory, surrounded by gifts. She lives a few towns over now, with her boyfriend of four or five years. They woke up, celebrated their own Christmas before coming to our house to open presents, and eventually moved on to his family’s house in the afternoon. All of which brought a second change: we had another person open presents with my immediate family for the first time ever.
The next change is that I split my time between being with my boyfriend, Benjamin, and my family. On Christmas Eve, I went to brunch with Ben, celebrated with my family, then spent time driving around looking at Christmas lights with Ben, again. Christmas day, he and I ate a dinner with each of our families in turn.
The final change is that my cousins are all growing up. The youngest is now twenty. Instead of buying for everyone, we’re moving toward a Secret Santa path – something I’ve been fighting for a long time. I love the feeling of finding the perfect gift and seeing a family member light up while opening it. To me, that’s a big part of what Christmas is about, making someone you love happy. I’d hate to not be allowed to have that moment with more than one person.
But with all these new and scary changes to age-old traditions, I’ve learned a little something:
1. Just because someone grew up and moved out doesn’t mean they’ve moved on. My sister still gets just as excited. We even bicker a little less.
2. Adding a new family member to your Christmas traditions can be strange at first, but it gets to be really great. Like I said, I love finding that perfect gift, and it just means that I have someone new to make happy.
3. It can be hard to leave family time at Christmas, but it’s so worth it to share the day with the person you love.
4. Even if your traditions are changing, it doesn’t make the day any less Christmasy. It’s about family, friends, love. That’s all. Just remember that.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the season. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year!