His parents. My grandparents. His aunts. My parents.
This is the reoccurring conversation when upcoming holiday plans are discussed. I channel my inner Reese Witherspoon each holiday season in regard to her character from Four Christmases. (Now if I could just say ya’ll without sounding completely ridiculous!)
On this day six years ago, my then boyfriend proposed. Over the last six years, our lives, families, and traditions have been mended into one. We have done a noble job of splitting our time between our two families. Traditions that we both know and love have continued into our adulthood and married years. We are blessed to have four generations on each side of our families. All members of our two families share the joy and love of the Christmas season with our young children.
The hierarchy of my husband’s family passed away this year. His grandfather lived for our oldest child: his great-grandson. For the past two Christmases, my husband and I kept our family tradition status quo to spend those holiday seasons with him and the rest of our family back home. We packed our belongings and presents and traveled over the Christmas holiday.
For this holiday, we have humbly discussed how when one generation passes and new generations start, family traditions start to shift.
What my husband has done for the past thirty-two years will be different this year.
Our traditions as a married couple will not have the same familiarity.
My son’s experiences from the past two Christmas seasons will also transform into something new.
So, I ask myself, whose role is it to take on the next generation of holiday hosting? Is it ours because we are both the oldest on each side of our families? Are we a shoe-in because we are the only ones with small children thus far? Do family members start traveling to us? Will my children get to wake up in their own beds to their own Christmas tree on Christmas morning?
I’m not sure if there are any “right” answers to these questions. While we are human and creatures of habit, this upcoming holiday has a strange taste with the reoccurring discussion of new holiday plans. Sure, the magic of Christmas will be present in whatever we do, but there definitely is an unfamiliar taste in our mouths as generations change and new traditions start. Until we establish new traditions over the next few years, I guess I’ll just have to eat a few more Christmas cookies to help subdue the taste of unfamiliarity.