As our family ages, its traditions are shifting. Christmas has always been celebrated at our house with gift opening in the morning and a huge feast in the evening.
Even when we were newlyweds, 36 years ago, everyone came to our house. I loved to do all the cooking. And trust me when I say it was better that way. Some of the cooks in our family could kill you.
We put up a very small tree this year that I’d describe as modest and petite, but it does border on Charlie Brown compared to years past.
I used to bake dozens of cookies, tarts and other goodies that I’d wrap and gift to neighbors. We always had plenty for our family to gorge on. This year I only made one batch of cookies and it was for a cookie exchange.
The frantic pace of previous years… shopping, wrapping, excessive decorating and general craziness just didn’t happen this year.
The table linens still got ironed. The silverware was still polished and the chandeliers still got cleaned. But this time it was for back to back sit-down dinner parties with our friends instead of family. I truly love to host these kinds of events. All burners were fired up on the stove and fine wine was served.
My daughter is traveling again this Christmas, and it’s hard not having her here. We all miss her. She’s off on an amazing adventure through Central America…surfing down volcanos and boating on rivers filled with crocodiles.
My husband’s relationship with his sister seems to be permanently strained since the death of their brother so she won’t be here this year.
And so… for the day… Christmas Day… I invited us to my son and daughter-in-law’s house. It feels a bit like passing the baton. One I didn’t see coming and that has me feeling a bit odd.
Life stages, aging and changing priorities are all familiar to me. But this honestly feels sort of sad. I can’t explain why it does because I’ll be spending the time with my son, daughter-in-law and Grandson, who I adore to distraction.
Have your family traditions changed this year?