Every year since we've been married, Christmas time is when I start to get a little stressed out about how and where we're spending the holidays... and then I start to feel that longing to move home to Barnesville sooner rather than later. Don't get me wrong, we are SO blessed to be from the same hometown and have the opportunity and privilege to spend the holidays with both sides of the family, mine and Terrell's. We've never had to alternate between spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families or choose one side's family traditions over the other. I love that, and I'm so grateful for it. I especially love that my children will get to experience holidays with both sides of the family/sets of grandparents just like I did growing up. I really have no right to complain, at all. But every year, without fail, I always end up fretting over our plans for the holidays and playing the whole "if only..." game in my mind. I know better and I do it anyway. Why oh why must I put myself through it? It only leaves me feeling frustrated and impatient and as if the grass must be greener on the other side, which I know isn't the case 99% of the time. Gracious. Sooo, I guess I just need to get everything out and this is my outlet. I know my husband sure does appreciate it! Bless his heart, he has to get tired of hearing the same ole frustrations from me year after year when he can't do a thing about it. I love him for listening though.
Now that I've rambled I'll try to get back on track. Our holiday season is all about family and traditions.... as I'm sure it is for most people. And again we are extremely blessed to share really special traditions with both of our families that I look forward to every year. To me, family traditions are what keep families close and grown-up children coming home. (Something I'm already thinking about even though my oldest child isn't even 3 yet. What is wrong with me?!) I've seen it firsthand in my own extended family and it's just something I believe in. I don't know too many families quite like my extended family. We're just a pretty close bunch that makes getting together a priority even though it isn't always easy. That's been my example growing up and all I've ever known, so to me, it's the way it's done.
Terrell and I also want family traditions to be a big part of our growing little family. We have our "by ourself" traditions like carving our pumpkin at Halloween, decorating our tree and house the weekend after Thanksgiving, riding around looking at Christmas lights, etc. But we also have our "with family" traditions that include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. spent with family eating good food, giving gifts, and "fellowshipping". And it's important to us that our children grow up knowing the love, security, support, and just plain fun that comes from being a part of a close-knit extended family (beyond just the 4 or 5 of us)....
Therefore, we travel for everything. We spend all the major holidays together with our families. Which means packing up (the house these days) and staying overnight in Barnesville with one of our parents'. Which means waking up in their homes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. Which definitely has it's perks that I've come to look forward to! Our Christmas traditions are something I look forward to every year because of how perfect everything works out with both of our families, and I wouldn't change a thing .... unless, we only lived a few minutes away in the same town. Wow. How awesome would that be?! We would still keep our traditions, but without the packing! =)
Now, I know for a fact I would miss some of the traditions that would be "tweaked" if we lived close by and could go home to our own house on Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc. It would be different for sure. It might even be tough to get used to at first. Who knows, we might decide not to change a thing in the beginning! But, our family is growing and I know if we don't move in the next few years things are going to get sticky when it comes to celebrating the holidays, especially at Christmas. Things at Christmas are already getting a little sticky. Garrison is only going to become more aware of Santa, which means being prepared to answer questions about the man in red coming to Papa and Granna's. But I guess if that's all he's ever known....? Then there's the issue of space in the living room. Seriously. Plus a part of me would love having a little tradition of our own... something that could only work out if we lived close by. I invision having our families come over on Christmas morning for breakfast and to see what Santa brought the kiddos... just like my grandparents did when I was growing up. Awww. It makes me feel good just thinking about that little idea. Until 2 seconds later when I'm ready to complain because my little idea doesn't work until we move.
It just really hits home at the holidays that we may have to make a choice one day. An impossible choice if you ask me. That's probably at the root of all my frustration and stress. Actually let's just not think about it, because for now our holiday plans are perfect. Things may be crazy packing up the house and presents, and having 2 different sleep-overs, and making room for Santa, but we'll be making memories, having fun, and celebrating with the people we love most, so it's all worth it and it's all good... even though I guarantee at some point during our holiday celebrations the if onlys will start to creep into my mind and I'll have to tell Terrell and he'll have to listen... again. =)