I’ll be home for Christmas

I’ll be home for Christmas
December 11, 2017 admin
In Uncategorized

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…the inevitable debate of how and where to celebrate holidays. You know the feeling, he thinks his family is great, you know your family is great (crazy, sure, but still, the best!). You each have specific ideas of what traditions should be followed, how big a deal to make of the different special days. The compromises and details usually go pretty smoothly until it comes to Christmas. I don’t know why, but it seems that Christmas is an extra sensitive holiday with very specific viewpoints on everything from Santa to gift wrap and decorations to Christmas dinner. In my marriage, it was no different. Most traditions we were able to agree on or adjust without any problems, but the big question of where we were going to spend Christmas caused more that a few tense conversations that ended with me in tears. I grew up in an Air Force family – we moved around quite a bit and were always far from any family for the holidays. My cherished Christmas memories all include a very small group of people – my mom, dad and little sister. Aside from the few years grandparents came to join us on our overseas adventures, it was always just the four of us setting out cookies, heading to church, unwrapping presents and enjoying Christmas dinner. It was intimate and cozy and uniquely ours. I always imagined I’d celebrate Christmas with my husband and kids in a similar way, especially since neither my husband nor I have our parents close by. Of course, I wanted to include our extended family, but I dreamt of recreating those warm Christmas mornings at our home.  My bubble was very quickly burst when, six months after we were married, my husband told me it was going to be “our year” at his parents’ house – he’d talked it over with his brother and they’d decided it would be better if we took turns spending Christmas there so that there would never be a year when his parents didn’t have one of the two sons home. I wasn’t too disappointed as we didn’t yet have kids, and I can honestly say that I enjoy spending time with my in laws. The next year, we went to my parents’ home for Christmas and so a tradition of Christmas travel was born. Each year, we’d load up gifts and winter clothes and join the throngs of Holiday travelers on the road or in the air. Even as our family grew, and we added diapers and elves to the mountains of travel necessities, we continued to travel each year. I always enjoyed my trips, but I held tight to the dream of waking up at home on Christmas morning. Each year, I started to dread the extra stress of packing up the gifts, finding a kennel for the dog and leaving behind our Christmas tree. When I’d talk to my husband about it, he was adamant in his feelings that it was important for us to go to our parents’ homes each year. (Logistically, because of extended family near each of our parents, they couldn’t really travel to us.) Finally, a couple of years ago after yet another teary talk about Christmas travel, he said something that connected to my heart. He told me that this was our tradition. Yes, it was different than what I’d grown up with, but it was equally special and beautiful for our kids. As I thought about it, I realized that it’s true. When our kids think of Christmas, they don’t feel cheated or sad. They are excited about two unique sets of traditions they get to experience at their grandparents’ homes. There are things they look forward to in each place and they wouldn’t trade our way for any other. As a side note, I did get one Christmas in my own home…our third child was due on January 8, 2013, so of course I couldn’t travel so close to my due date! That year my parents and sister came to us and, good thing they did, our youngest daughter was born just three days later on December 28th! All that to say, the importance of Christmas is spending time together. This time of year, sometimes it feels like life is too crazy to even enjoy what is going on, the magic of Christmas, the blessing of time off from school and work. My prayer for you is that you don’t focus so much on what you want it to look like – the where or the how you celebrate, but instead on creating memorable moments that will be forever recorded on the hearts of your loved ones. You know, so that when THEY get married, they can fight with their spouses over which traditions are the best…

 

This post is by Michelle Ochoa. Michelle is Chief Chaos Coordinator of her home and is a fabulous momma and wife. She also happens to be my best friend and Union28’s Top Model! Her family has been walking the exhausting and emotional roller coaster of rebuilding their home after Hurricane Harvey. They truly are HOUSTON STRONG! Michelle will be blessing all of us with more posts in the future!

 

Comment (1)

  1. Stephanie 4 months ago

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve struggled with the same thoughts. I want to quick traveling and start being home for Christmas. However, I know how much of a blessing it is to go to the family members who can’t come to us. It may not always be this way, but I guess for now, I can look forward to packing the bags.

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