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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,876
Registered: ‎08-20-2012

Re: Christmas tradition changes

Sad that it's just you and DIL's Dad cleaning up. Perhaps the kids dont know how to offer?  Get 'em to stack the plates and toss 'em a dish dryer once they're there.  Do the dishes By Hand!  Takes time and you start talking.   The kitchen clean up is where the Really good stories are brought up.  Who Knew so much history could be recallled just by picking up Grandmas pototo masher?  They're stuck anway because Nobody gets dessert unti the dishes are done so they might as well help out.

Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes


@SPURT wrote:

We had so much fun when my mom/dad were with us, we'd get together at my aunt's house. It was mom/dad/sister/brother/aunts/uncles/cousins and we had such a good time. Sadly, most of the relatives have passed on so its only my siblings and a few cousins left

 

My friends and I and my sister all decorate our homes and we get together and attend Christmas Events throughout our city....And participate in some volunteer activities for a couple charities.....

 

Christmas Eve, my sister and I and a few friends attend the Christmas Eve Candleight Church Service, then we go out to eat at a favorite restaurant and then check out the Christmas Lights around town and in the Texas Hill Country Towns (which reminds one of Bedford Falls in Its A Wonderful Life--minus the snow--- Smiley Wink ).......  

 

My sister hosts Christmas Day (she loves to cook and I grilled her to make sure she still wants to host, and she does), so its me, my sister, my brother/his girlfriend 3 cousins & wives, and a few friends....only a few of us exchange a small token gift......We do enjoy sharing a delicious meal together and playing fun games like Cranium, Trivial Pursuit, Scattegories etc......We will watch a Christmas movie, or if our NBA Spurs are playing we will watch the basketball game....(all of us love our Spurs).......And thats our Christmas....

 

I still find joy in Christmas, its my favorite season....


 

@SPURT 

 

The perfect example of how even through all life's changes, one can still find joy in new ways of doing the season. I'm glad you have so much family to share the time with, it sounds wonderful!

Super Contributor
Posts: 449
Registered: ‎04-24-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

I find this to be an interesting thread.  Thank you @mominohio for starting it.  Your holiday plans sound nice. 

Like others have said and implied, life and situations change and it is often hard to adjust.

I have the typical family drama but, I also have a problem that may seem small to others but it is big to me. My grown children appreciate tradition and gathering at my house on Christmas Eve. I love that we are together but I do not like to decorate.  It creates a lot of stress for me.  I have told my "children" that I do not want to decorate a tree and would be happy with minimal Christmas decor.  They refuse to accept this even though each decorate trees at their own homes.  Any ideas on how I can happily enjoy decorating? It is such a chore for me!

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Posts: 1,435
Registered: ‎07-25-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

[ Edited ]

@shy bobcat wrote:

I find this to be an interesting thread.  Thank you @mominohio for starting it.  Your holiday plans sound nice. 

Like others have said and implied, life and situations change and it is often hard to adjust.

I have the typical family drama but, I also have a problem that may seem small to others but it is big to me. My grown children appreciate tradition and gathering at my house on Christmas Eve. I love that we are together but I do not like to decorate.  It creates a lot of stress for me.  I have told my "children" that I do not want to decorate a tree and would be happy with minimal Christmas decor.  They refuse to accept this even though each decorate trees at their own homes.  Any ideas on how I can happily enjoy decorating? It is such a chore for me.

 

 

 

Could you ask your children to come over some evening after Thanksgiving for a tree trimming evening?  Explain as you are getting older it’s harder to do on your own.  Play Christmas music, serve Christmas cookies and hot chocolate, and have fun with it.  My tree is a 5 footer....it only takes me a half hour to set it up and decorate it.

 

As my Grandma aged, it was impossible for her to decorate...but she loved a Christmas tree.  My ex and I would stop over the first week of December and set up & decorate her tree while she watched from her rocker.  It was our gift to her....she had a huge family and didn’t need us to buy her anything...she loved us doing her tree  as her gift.  She would always pull out some cookies or a box of candy to give us a treat, and we would chat and tell stories and have a great visit.   One of her sons would come over after New Years, and take the tree down for her.


 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,580
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

I no longer cookethe big turkey dinner. Just me and DH. Live too far away for any other family. Back in Michigan my nephew hosts the family to do. My 86 yo mother is still sulking about it not being at her house and being the ring master.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,777
Registered: ‎07-24-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes


@SPURT wrote:

TO EVERYONE:  Thank you for sharing your stories.......

 

@morewineplease 

 

I loved the story about your dogs....and that photo of  Buddy was so precious.....my friends and I go all out for our pets at Christmas too.....


@SPURT 

Thanks so much!!  😊

 

i have enjoyed reading everyone’s stories too.  Christmas was always a special time growing up as we’d get together and celebrate.  Sadly it has changed as people have moved, passed away, etc.  I didn’t have dogs growing up, so in the absence of many loved ones, I go all out crazy for the dogs.  I’m glad others do too!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,621
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes

Your fabulous opening line and insightful and inspiring post led to some wonderful shared stories and feelings, @mominohio 

Thank you for starting this lovely thread.

 

I never had one of my dogs excited by Christmas, but I do remember my first cat opening one of his gifts (I'm sure it must have been treats or something with catnip) the first year we had him.  It was especially meaningful to see him enjoy himself since we witnessed him being tossed from a moving car just ahead of us on a local street a few months before.  I immediately told my then-husband to stop our car and I found him hiding under a small juniper at the side of the road.  He was a GREAT cat - grew from a sweet kitten into a large orange tabby.

Love to be home . . . thus the screen name. Joined 2003.
Regular Contributor
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎06-15-2015

Re: Christmas tradition changes

Thanks so much for starting this thread. It feels like everyone is so, so busy during the holiday season and that's just not the case with my very small family. My mother passed away in June 2018 after a  multiple health issues that lasted 4 1/2 years. Once mother became ill, I took over as the oldest child. Mother also lived with me so Christmas was at my duplex. Last Christmas, we just tried to muddle through the day. I have only a brother and sister, no spouses or children. They do not get along and refuse to be in the same room, much less speak to each other. This makes for an interesting Christmas. I exchange gifts only with my sister. Last year, she came on Christmas Eve and I cooked a small meal. Brother came on Christmas Day and I bought him a gift. I hate to think he wouldn't receive a gift and Mother would want me to do something for him. He didn't want a meal so I fixed him a plate to take home. I have no idea what will happen this Christmas. Christmas will never be the same but I do find joy in decorating, Christmas carols, wrapping gifts. I like the idea of finding things throughout the season to enjoy and not concerning so much on the day. My church doesn't have Christmas Eve services but I am willing to attend another church. Nursing homes usually need someone to wrap gifts and I would happily do that. This year, I think I will call and see if some of the elderly in nursing homes need gifts. The elderly are often forgotten at Christmas. I have a single friend that her family celebrates either before or after Christmas. On Christmas Day last year, she and another friend I don't know went to a movie Christmas night. I may see what her plans are this year. I look forward to read other responses.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,876
Registered: ‎08-20-2012

Re: Christmas tradition changes

@texassunflowerMy sympathies at your Moms passing. It was not so long ago.  You have some very good plans lined up for the season.  Another one I enjoy is the High school glee club concert.  Do the schools or churches near you have any holiday concerts? 

Since it is only you and your sibling on Christmas day may I suggest the two of you Make the meal together?  Perhaps a stufffed rolled Turkey breast or Cornish game hens That wouldn't take as long as a whole Trukey to cook?    I love the idea of gifts for the seniors.  Your Company would brighten the day for them.  Enjoy your holiday season, be prepaired for some quiet reflection moments, engage your siblings.

If your mother has a cemetery space and is close enough, Maybe you can get your brother to go there with you to place some flowers  then go out to lunch.  Meet him somewhere that doesn't hold so mamy memories of mom.  Invite him over to your home too because perhaps last year was too soon to "celebrate"  no matter how low key. 

May you and your family have a holiday seaon filled with peace and comfort.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,615
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Christmas tradition changes


@shy bobcat wrote:

I find this to be an interesting thread.  Thank you @mominohio for starting it.  Your holiday plans sound nice. 

Like others have said and implied, life and situations change and it is often hard to adjust.

I have the typical family drama but, I also have a problem that may seem small to others but it is big to me. My grown children appreciate tradition and gathering at my house on Christmas Eve. I love that we are together but I do not like to decorate.  It creates a lot of stress for me.  I have told my "children" that I do not want to decorate a tree and would be happy with minimal Christmas decor.  They refuse to accept this even though each decorate trees at their own homes.  Any ideas on how I can happily enjoy decorating? It is such a chore for me!


 

@shy bobcat 

 

Boy, this is a hard one. 

 

What is the stress for you with decorating? Is it time you don't have? Or is is to the place where it's too physically challenging. Is it that it needs to be 'perfect' and that stresses you? 

 

I guess my suggestion would be to figure out why it stresses you, then see if you can fix that part of it. 

 

I'm assuming you feel blessed and love having adult kids that still want to come home, have such treasured memories they want to be together with you. But just in case that isn't true, is some of the stress from having people over because of 'drama' or some of the group not getting on well? I don't have an answer for that one, but just maybe there is something in the mix of people that is forcing the stress about decorating (because the act of decorating means those people are going to be coming, and bringing their 'stuff' to deal with?)

 

If it is time or energy or strength, could you or would you consider having a decorating party early in the season, where the kids or maybe just one or two of them, come and help set things up, carry the boxes, and make it something that is an event of its own, with a light lunch or some desserts? Set a time frame, and make it clear that all that will be done, will be done in x amount of hours, and all the trappings cleaned up. That keeps decorating from taking days and you having to do all the work. Of course if some of your stress is all about perfections, this might not work, having other 'cooks in the kitchen' and you not doing it your way.....I get that. 

 

Have you thought about giving the kids a lot of your Christmas decor? If what you use to decorate with goes back into their childhoods, and they love to come home to the familiar decor, passing on a good bit of it to them (let them choose at the end of this season, and take it to their homes) could greatly reduce what you have on hand, and make sure you don't have so much to work with in the future and maybe make decorating less stressful. 

 

I know for me, decorating has become more stressful, but I still enjoy it, because I have too much stuff after almost 40 years on my own. I have treasured old stuff that I find  hard to part with and a complete 'new' set of stuff that I've curated over the last few years for just the look I want. 

 

I struggle as I decorate between wanting that perfectly coordinated look, and wanting to use my old family pieces that don't 'go with' what I'm doing in each particular room. So if something like that is part of your stress, I have no answer! I'm there myself!!

 

What ever it is, I hope you can narrow down what stresses you the most, and correct or minimize it. I know that I'm trying to hang on to the fact that minus my dad, who's been gone since I was 18, I still have my immediate family intact and close enough to celebrate with, and I need to not be in a funk, because the years are fleeting, and more people will be gone in the future. 

 

Sometimes when I don't feel like doing, I try to consider that I don't want to wake up in the future and regret not appreciating just how good I actually do have it right now. Still healthy enough to do it, still have people surrounding me who will/want to come, a place and enough resources to make it happen etc. Life in the future could take away any or all of those things, and I don't want to regret not working to pull the full joy out of what I still have now, even if it isn't what I had and loved years ago.

 

Hope some of this helps!