I love the holiday season. From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years, we have traditions we treasure, new experiences annually and lots to do- some things by choice, some things because I feel that "I have to" and some things because I always want to make it better than the last year.
This year, being in a new home, has given me reason to reevaluate. Everything is up for assessment in a new home. Kitchen layout and equipment is different so what shall I cook and bake. The rooms and furniture layout is new so where should decorations go and which ones. Our outside of our home is not like before so where do we hang lights and wreaths and should we get some new stuff. Some of our family is nearer than before, and some of it (our daughters) our further, so how to coordinate and see our loved ones. When are church services and are they the same or similar to what we are used to? How can traditions be kept in a new place and with new participants? AND do we need to spend hours online and in the mall shopping and shipping and lugging from state to state or is there another way to share love via gifting?
Bottomline is that everything that makes it to the "to do" list has been evaluated; nothing is on auto pilot since so much has changed.
First change; our tree went up Thanksgiving weekend. Lots of people to that on Thanksgiving weekend, but we are not one of them. Circumstances however deemed it CRITICAL in our mind to do so. :-) Our youngest daughter, who is 22, visited at Thanksgiving. We loved having her so much at the holiday and missed our other kids equally so. BUT given that she was here and one of the family traditions was to go and chop down a tree, we went to get the tree while she visited.
We discovered that Indiana is 11th in the country for their supply of Christmas trees, so we had no problem finding a tree farm where we could go and cut down our tree. Since we now have a truck living out in the country, hauling it home was also easier than roping it to the top of a Jetta as in years past. Our family room however is smaller so our fat tree is taking over the room, but we still feel that we found the perfect tree so we overlook that.
Food and gifts are getting more of a handmade and simple touch also. Gifts are being hand crafted by us this year; so far I find it extremely fun and relaxed. I will blog on that topic in a couple of weeks and we will see if I still share that sentiment!
We have found enthusiasm in decorating and finding new places to set out our Snowman, Santas and other treasured friends. It is fun to find a new, just right place for things.
So while we miss much of the "sameness" we are finding new ways to enjoy. I will share in an upcoming blog how we are getting together with family, just in new ways.
How about you? Traditions that never change? Or do your holidays continually evolve?