Starting the New Year with looking back to Christmas seems fitting. Our year was made complete with the start of new traditions and new memories. Mark and I both cling to traditions, and while we haven't yet found a balance of creating our own, we are working towards finding ways to forge new traditions with our extended families.
This year, for the first time, our seventh Christmas as a married couple, we exchanged gifts with Mark's family and their house under their tree. Our day of celebration was December 22nd, Mark's birthday. There was some resistance, a bit of an awkward dance about whether or not we were all exchanging gifts, and questions about what the rest of the family would do when they woke up together on December 25th. But Behr's excitement quickly overcame any resistance.
Forging new traditions is difficult. It can be painful.
New traditions mean change and inevitably letting go of a way of doing things that may stretch back 20 or 30 years. I don't know what it is like to wake up at my in-laws on Christmas morning, but I know that Mark has jumped in and embraced my family with joy, partaking in their traditions. I hope to follow his lead. I hope we all do, and embrace the changes that our growing family presents and remember that letting go of traditions doesn't mean letting go of love.
We are blessed by large families. We are doubly blessed that they all live within a short drive. And even in the midst of the whirlwind visits, when it is so easy to forget, we are blessed that we get to see everyone as we celebrate the birth of Christ!
Have you created new traditions?
Does your family do the same thing every year or do you mix it up a bit?
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Oh yeah, we also celebrated Mark's birthday by going to dinner at The Narrows. Mark proclaimed it the best birthday dinner ever, and I couldn't agree more!