Thursday, December 15, 2011

To Do Now or Later: Traditions

I'm a sucker for traditions. Yours... mine... those of people I've never met, doesn't matter. I enjoy reading about traditions and then figuring out how to incorporate them into my own if it's feasible to do so.

For the last seven years, one of our traditions has been to alternate holidays with our families: Thanksgiving in Baker, Christmas in San Diego, then the following year Thanksgiving in San Diego, Christmas in Baker, repeat. This has worked out really well and we always know what to do, where we're going, and what to expect when we get there.

This year, however, the family unanimously decided it would be best if we stayed in Oregon for Christmas and come to visit later when flights are more reasonable. While it's nice to not have to make travel plans or cry over plane tickets and ridiculous surcharges, I am feeling a bit lost. This has led to many conversations about making our own traditions.

While we have incorporated some of our families' traditions - I am making the Bentley brisket for the Monday Night Posse Christmas party on Monday and always fill stockings to overflowing in true Henshaw fashion, for example - we have not really made our own as a couple.

That's not to say there aren't things we do every year - like get a tree as soon as our schedule and finances allow, watch ELF, and buy a picture frame ornament to mark a moment in the last year (something we've been doing since 2006, the year before we married). We just don't have anything that's really ours.

It's a little late this year, but we are talking about traditions we want to establish now and then can modify or add to when we have children. This came out of a conversation in which I said something to the effect of, "I have lots of traditions, we just can't do them until we have little people," and Jason replied, "Stop trying to write me out of this! I want to be part too!"

I was a bit convicted by that statement. I am one who gets quite annoyed when people say, "When we have kids we'll x, y, z," or, "We're not going to do that until we by a house..." (within reason, of course there are some things you can't do until an earlier requirement has been filled), meanwhile life is happening now and they are missing it waiting for the next thing.

When we have children, they'll be around for 20 years; the time we have now is ours and I want to spend it making beautiful memories with my husband. That'll make Christmases with babies all the more sweet.

What are your traditions?

As long as I'm at AMC, this may well become a tradition.


kbeeps said...

Well, you know me, I'm completely immature. So I did all the kid stuff even when I didn't have a kid - going to see the Christmas lights, making and decorating sugar cookies, annoying my mom incessantly (along with my dad) about when we would FINALLY get to open our presents on Christmas Day... :-)

The Green Girl said...

As soon as I can buy Southwest Airlines tickets to go back home, I buy them every year. I fly home and play with my niece non-stop. Time stops and reality melts away. I love it.

Laura R said...

Does this mean you'll be in the Beav for Christmas? If you are, you are welcome to come by the Higley House. Mom cooks all day, so you could come from breakfast, lunch, or dinner :)
Breakfast is one of my favorite traditions. Mom makes mini Swedish buttermilk pancakes, and they are incredible! I guess we could make them other times throughout the year, but they somehow taste more delicious as a special treat.

Arly said...

We watch all our favorite Christmas movies. From We're No Angels (the bogart one, not the new one) to Charlie brown to its a wonderful life to die hard. (and many more.). I have to make, per "request" chocolate marshmallows and pumpkin cookies. One tradition we have but isn't really tradition... We bug each other not to look at the online bank statement or email receipts, even though we both have to look both places.... Honor system I guess. :) We also only leave our tree lights on on Christmas eve all night. All precious nights we turn them off.