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Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,661
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Christmas tradition changes

Just remember before anyone whines about this topic in September, this is the holiday forum. 

 

I wanted to offer a place for input/experience/suggestions about what you did or plan to do, as your life changes and you don't celebrate Christmas (or any other holiday you wish to discuss) the same way you did for many years. 

 

Changes like kids growing up and moving on, older family members passing on, moving away from family and friends, loss of spouse or other things that happen in life and lead to us doing things differently than we did for decades. 

 

I've spent a couple of years in transition myself. Kid grown up and living on his own, but still close by, older family almost all gone, my mom not 'playing well with others' as time moves on and making it difficult to get people that we do have left together for anything.

 

I've always encouraged people, as life changes, to try to establish new traditions, not just mourn the loss of the old ones, and I was doing pretty good at that until last year. It just wasn't a real good year for me and the holidays. 

 

I'm trying to get out in front of it a bit this year, and the biggest thing I can think of is that I need to stop catering to people who don't want to participate in some way or fashion. I need to make that their choice and they live with the consequences, and not me. If someone doesn't want to come to some function or another because so and so will be there, I used to do back flips to have separate events so the two didn't land in the same place at the same time. I'm done with that. I'm planning what I want to do, who I want to have, and telling everyone involved when, where, and who all else is invited. If they don't like the guest list, they can be alone or make other plans.

 

I'm also looking outside my usual 'group' of family and friends for things to do during the holidays. For many years it was all about the same small group of people, often doing the same things. I'm looking to volunteer in different areas, hook up with friends we didn't normally see during the holidays, and go places we didn't use to go (like the symphony, a holiday performance at our local theater (not movie!) etc.). 

 

So share the changes you've experienced, how you still found joy in the season, the kinds of new things you tried, or the new places and people you made part of your holiday season when life situations changed for you.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 28,216
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

@mominohio 

 

I admire you for stepping back and taking a "new view."

 

One "attitude" that has helped me cope with changing family needs is to think of our family (our children) as being the highlight and not the actual day. (ie: celebrating "Christmas" on a different day.)

I wish you a Happy Holiday season this year no matter what!❤️💚

 

Have a Kind Heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,975
Registered: ‎05-23-2015

Re: Christmas tradition changes


@mominohio wrote:

Just remember before anyone whines about this topic in September, this is the holiday forum. 

 

I wanted to offer a place for input/experience/suggestions about what you did or plan to do, as your life changes and you don't celebrate Christmas (or any other holiday you wish to discuss) the same way you did for many years. 

 

Changes like kids growing up and moving on, older family members passing on, moving away from family and friends, loss of spouse or other things that happen in life and lead to us doing things differently than we did for decades. 

 

I've spent a couple of years in transition myself. Kid grown up and living on his own, but still close by, older family almost all gone, my mom not 'playing well with others' as time moves on and making it difficult to get people that we do have left together for anything.

 

I've always encouraged people, as life changes, to try to establish new traditions, not just mourn the loss of the old ones, and I was doing pretty good at that until last year. It just wasn't a real good year for me and the holidays. 

 

I'm trying to get out in front of it a bit this year, and the biggest thing I can think of is that I need to stop catering to people who don't want to participate in some way or fashion. I need to make that their choice and they live with the consequences, and not me. If someone doesn't want to come to some function or another because so and so will be there, I used to do back flips to have separate events so the two didn't land in the same place at the same time. I'm done with that. I'm planning what I want to do, who I want to have, and telling everyone involved when, where, and who all else is invited. If they don't like the guest list, they can be alone or make other plans.

 

I'm also looking outside my usual 'group' of family and friends for things to do during the holidays. For many years it was all about the same small group of people, often doing the same things. I'm looking to volunteer in different areas, hook up with friends we didn't normally see during the holidays, and go places we didn't use to go (like the symphony, a holiday performance at our local theater (not movie!) etc.). 

 

So share the changes you've experienced, how you still found joy in the season, the kinds of new things you tried, or the new places and people you made part of your holiday season when life situations changed for you.


 

" You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,975
Registered: ‎05-23-2015

Re: Christmas tradition changes

I applaud your resolve, I hope your holiday is everything you hope for. 

" You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Valued Contributor
Posts: 893
Registered: ‎03-19-2016

Re: Christmas tradition changes

  I let them do what they want because everything’s last minute with my son and family.

  If I plan anything it will be changed or extra people I don’t know will appear. Last year a week before Christmas I ordered a Christmas Eve dinner for myself, son (divorced) and granddaughter as usual. The day before they all decided to go to his house and I had to buy extra. 

   NOT this year! 

   It’s not the same and I don’t expect it to be. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,458
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

@mominohio   I think you're on the right track.  Sometimes we just have to change with the times and put the past behind us, while looking forward to a new and possibly different future.  It sounds to me like you've just hit that point in life where you just take a different perspective on things.  The biggest part of that, I think, is shedding what no longer works, and replacing that with a new attitude of doing what you want to do, instead of what you think others want you to do.  I'm 70, and I think I reached that point about 10-15 years ago.  It's so liberating!

 

I only have my little sister and my BIL, and his family.  We are usually on the same page when it comes to holidays, so we will be OK with business as usual this year!  

Laura loves cats!
Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,661
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes


@LTT1 wrote:

@mominohio 

 

I admire you for stepping back and taking a "new view."

 

One "attitude" that has helped me cope with changing family needs is to think of our family (our children) as being the highlight and not the actual day. (ie: celebrating "Christmas" on a different day.)

I wish you a Happy Holiday season this year no matter what!❤️💚

 


@LTT1 

 

I hear you about not being 'that mom' that has to have all the holidays and on the actual day. 

 

I thought many years ago, when my son was tiny, that some day, I would have to share him with another family, and I remember how not so fun it was to have to be to multiple places all on on day, because every 'side' of the family wanted you at the same time/day. 

 

I always said I would be very compromising on that, and I was indeed the last couple of years with my son and his various girlfriends and their family times (usually the other family was NOT willing to change a thing about their celebration times and places). 

 

I think this year may be more of a trial, as this girlfriend seems to be more family oriented than the past ones, and her family seems to like to monopolize their time over holidays this summer, so I'm expecting to have to find a new balance this year, beyond what I already have done. 

 

I'm ok with that, I just want some quality time, it isn't really important to me what that time is.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 28,216
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

@mominohio 

 

I am not THAT MOM either...

 

When DD was growing up, my DSIL (who is no longer on this earth 😪) was the quintessential "mom" of that day.

In the 80's, she needlepointed/cooked family holiday meals, and decorated their home in "Pottery Barn."

I wanted to be her, but alas, I just couldn't swing it.

 

Our DD, DSIL and grands seem to accept us as we are.

 

Since my health has always been a bit "iffy," I just could never manage the energy to do a lot of traditional things.

But this is ok. ❤️🥰

Have a Kind Heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit
Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,269
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

It is the Holiday forum but Holiday does not necessarily mean Christmas.  The next holiday is October and the one after that is Thanksgiving.  Christmas is way down the road.  However, your post doesn't have to be about Christmas, it could be about any and all holidays.  I find that as I got older and as my girls grew up and started their own lives; I started doing birthdays, anniversaries and holidays my way.  For me, it happened as I moved into my late 40's and after we downsized.  I was free to do different things, entertain differently, establish new customs, drop some old customs.  And a funny thing happened.  No one complained !!!   Family and friends noticed and commented when things were differnt but no one complained and everyone enjoyed the dinner or party just as much as they ever did.  It was certainly easier on me since I was the one who did the lion's share of the work.  I don't do sit down dinners now, I do buffets.  I don't feel required to fix everyon's favorite dish.  I don't just "hope" that guests will bring something, I assign things to my guests.  I mix up my colors for Christmas decorating now and I don't always use our treaured family decorations.  Some years I go traditional but other years I do something unexpectedly different.  I never lost my joy in any of the holidays but I came to a point in my life where I just wanted to things that were easier for me and maybe a little more fun.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,788
Registered: ‎07-24-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

@mominohio
I hope this holiday season is more joyful for you. It sounds like you are on the path to making it better by doing something different and by not trying to please everyone else.

 

I don’t have much to add to the conversation of worth. Now that I’m in the next chapter of my life, I focus on the dogs as if they were my kids. Hanging their stockings, buying them toys. Last Christmas Eve was hilarious as my one boy knew something was up. He must’ve sensed all the gifts I put out and he had a restless sleep by the door rather than in bed. I have video of him the next morning when I opened the bedroom door and he ran to see all the stockings filled with toys and the gifts by the tree. It may sound silly to some, but with a small family and no kids around, I’m going to make it fun any way I can.

 

I do hope this year to finally do some enjoyable things I always say I’m going to do but never make time for. I’d like to drive around and see Christmas lights. Maybe go to one of those little towns all decorated for Christmas. I want to make my mom’s Norwegian Christmas cookies. Maybe have a holiday party early in December and invite people over that don’t come for Christmas.

 

Here’s Buddy checking out the stockings:

 

33FB2696-209C-4896-A0DC-0CC0A5778B98.jpeg