Sharing our holiday tradition with you, we are not your ordinary couple!
When we got married, we combined our beliefs, religions, family traditions, values all in one and sat down to discuss the similarities and differences. It was then that we decided that we wanted to create our own tradition for just the two of us.
We knew that we were going to be a household of two, well four including our fur babies, but we knew that we were not going to extend our family with children so we wanted to do something just for us. Something for just the two of us, the way we wanted to do it without anyone else’s opinions.
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” -Mark 10:9
When I was growing up, and my parents were still together, we would go all out for the holidays. My mom always over decorated the inside of our home, while my dad decked out the outside. It was always so festive. We would always do it as a family. Going all out in decorating is one tradition that I carried into my home.
My family and I always went to church Christmas morning, then went to brunch at a nice restaurant, then we would go home to open gifts. Sounds to me like the normal family tradition right? Well, it sure was.
When my parents divorced, of course, everything changed. My sister and I had to figure out who was going to have us for the holidays. It was an issue at first because both my mom and dad wanted to have us on Christmas Day. It didn’t always work out that way.
We had to come to some kind of compromise to make things work. As my sister and I got older, we decided that we would have to split the holidays evenly. Thanksgiving was with our dad and Christmas was with our mom.
With my dad and his new life with my step mom, my sister and I gained three step brothers. We all got along well because we are all around the same age, so that helped. His tradition with his new family was going to midnight mass, then heading home and opening up presents. My family is Catholic and my husband and I are Christians but as long as we believe in the same God, it doesn’t matter to me what church I worship at.
“There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” – 1 Corinthians 12:5-6
With my mom and her new life with my step dad, it was pretty quiet. My mom is still very much into Christmas, the shopping part of course, but as far as decorating, not as extensive as before. My step dad is not really into Christmas. It is just the way he is and we eventually learned to accept it. He knows how important it is to my mom, so he participates by opening gifts with us.
In the casino and hospitality business which my step dad is a part of, he is always working on the holidays so there is not really much planning for the holidays. My mom and my sister works most of the time as well which causes us to not really have Christmas plans when my husband and I are around them.
To be honest, my husband and I don’t mind at all because of the tradition we have, which I will get to a little later. We care more about having to spend quality time with our family and it doesn’t matter what day it is.
This year, like every other year, as long as my husband and I are able to, we drive out to Las Vegas to spend the holidays with my mom, my sister and my step dad. I was done with my Christmas list back in November so I knew that my time was going to be spent with random plans, which I like.
My mom and I are like best friends so we go shopping together, get our nails done, you know, girly things. But there is something that was brought up this past week that my mom had mentioned to me that had me thinking……
We went shopping like everyone else in this world. She still had to finish her list so I tagged along. The lines were super long, parking was a disaster, pushing through crowds trying to look for sizes, we all know the story of how it goes.
Well… as my mom and I stood in this long line, she says, “You know I have to agree with your step dad on what he says every year.” I asked what she meant and she said, “This is the craziest time of year when everyone is out going nuts buying gifts but being rude at the same time, it’s absolutely crazy!”
I let that sink in my head for a second as I looked around and noticed that my step dad is right. My mom and I witnessed a customer ask a store clerk to go in the back to look if they had a certain size and when he said, “I’m sorry ma’am, we are all out” she started yelling at him like it was his fault.
Where is the cheerful holiday spirit we should all have during this time of year? I was so disgusted to hear her treat a complete stranger that way. As we were getting closer for our turn to pay, the lady before us starting yelling when the cashier mentioned her total. She flipped out and said, “I thought that these items were all 20% off!!” The cashier mentioned that it was only 20% off if she spent over $100. She raised her voice and yelled, “I did not stand in this stupid line for 20 minutes for you to tell me I have to pay full price for this, I want to talk to your manager!”
Again, here we are…. staring and watching what was going on. I was even more disgusted. My mom and I left that store and had the deepest conversation on the car ride home. Oh wait, not to mention, I took a bit to reverse out of my parking stall because we were trying to figure out where to next, that we got beeped at because we were taking too long for the person who wanted our stall. We both agreed that it is so unfortunate that this is the kind of world we live in. It is the happiest time of the year and this is the way some people act.
With that said, let me explain what my husband and I came up with as our own family tradition. We celebrate Christmas for what it really is. To celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Nothing more and nothing less. If you know us personally or if you follow my blogs, then you will know that my husband and I are true believers and followers of Christ.
We open gifts the week of Christmas instead of on Christmas Day. Granted, when we are around my family, we open the gifts they have for us whenever they want us to but as far as our gifts to each other, we open them the week of. That way on Christmas Day, nothing else can interfere with our day to worship. Whether is it to worship at church or at home.
This year we decided to start another tradition. Actually we are going to follow my mom and step dad’s theory. Another good point that my step dad mentioned to her was that they are so blessed financially that they are able to get things for each other throughout the year without having to wait until Christmas or Black Friday, like everyone else.
So if my mom wanted a new expensive designer bag or my step dad wanted a new set of golf clubs, they would just go and get it the next day. Why wait until Christmas or Black Friday to get something that you want?! If you are able to get the items now, then get it! This made so much sense to my husband and I as well.
Christmas is for Jesus Christ and spending quality time with the ones you love. Why make it all about gifts. The gift of life should be enough. The gift of family, the gift of love, the gift of being present is what should matter the most.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Joshua 1;17 NIV
Some people are not as fortunate as we are so we understand that they have to wait until the end of the year to get that special gift but in our family, we decided that we are not going to do that anymore unless it is absolutely worth it to just wait.
We are still going to get gifts for our extended family members but again as for me and my husband, this is what we added into our household as another tradition.
I share with you these traditions to remind us to celebrate the holidays for what it for… Let’s spread love and cheerfulness around the world. Let us not forget to treat everyone with kindness no matter what season it is.
“May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this” -2 Samuel 2:6
Be humble and grateful for the gifts that God has blessed you with. Cherish the precious moments that you spend with your family and friends during the holidays.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” -Colossians 3:12
Happy Holidays from my family to yours!
Photos used in this post are from Pinterest.