Wednesday, December 22, 2010

this Season...

I have been busy; stressing over the Christmas Season.  A few weeks ago, it finally hit me that we are now responsible for ensuring that Boogie has meaningful and memorable holiday traditions. The past few years we've just gone with the flow and not really worried about 'tradition.' But now, I feel pressure to make sure that Boogie can grow up loving the Christmas season, just like I did.

J and I grew up with very different holiday traditions, neither one better than the other, just different....

J's entire extended family lives in the same small town in Iowa (or very close by). So, holidays were quick trips spent hoping from one house to the next over a long weekend and then back home. He grew up seeing both sides of the family at every holiday.

My family is spread across the country.  We rotated every year; Thanksgiving with the Dunwiddies, Christmas with the Lockharts, then the next year we switched.  Some of my greatest memories growing up are the times surrounding Christmas.  When we were with the Dunwiddies, it was my two cousins and I on cots in my grandparent's living room with Poppy on a cot at our feet and grandma on the couch at our heads.  We'd stay up all night (grandma and poppy included) just nothing. Lockhart Christmases were usually spent in a secluded farm house on the side of a mountain in Pennsylvania. We'd spend 4-5 days holed up in the middle of nowhere, all 15+ of us!  We'd hike the mountain to cut down a tree, make ornaments and play board games all night.  On Christmas morning all the cousins would pile at the top of the stairs, waiting for all the grownups to wake up, so we could finally race downstairs to see what Santa had left.

Christmas was such a magical time as a kid and I want to be sure it's just as magical for Boogie.  I want him to look forward to traditions every year. To one day look back and be able to say "this is what we always did at Christmas." I think this has been one of the first moments as a parent that I've realized how important things like that are and how I'm responsible for making good memories and traditions for him.

I'll be honest, it's been hard to figure out what the right thing to do is.  He has 3 sets of grandparents, 4 households of great-grandparents and countless aunts, uncles and cousins.  While I think it's important that he sees all of his family, I feel like we're pulled in every direction.  I feel like we're trying to fit into everyone else's traditions and plans instead of making our own.  Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself to make things perfect for him.  This Season just kind of crept up on me and I wasn't really expecting how hard this would be.


  1. Ryan and I have difficulty figuring this out now...without kids. You and I had similar holiday schedules growing up and Ryan mirrored Jason. It's hard for him to miss out on events with his family, but hard for us to spend most of the time driving. Don't worry, your little guy will have amazing memories - because of his amazing parents! Happy Holidays.

  2. Oh my gosh, it's taken us years to figure out how to celebrate the holidays, make everyone happy and fulfilled with seeing and spending time with the girls, and feeling like we have some time for "our family"... and, we're still making adjustments! My recommendation is that you just need to do what feels right for you and ease into the "traditions" thing... try adding one thing every year until you decide what you really love! Good luck!

  3. I have a friend that although she loves her family and her in-laws, she has decided that this is their last year traveling for Christmas. Her tradition will be spending Christmas together with her husband and kids. Because of Adam's work, we are not traveling to see any of his family. I feel bad but to be honest, I know we can see them in January when things aren't so crazy. Don't pressure yourself to see everyone otherwise you'll be the one person not enjoying the holidays. If you have to be somewhat selfish and save Christmas for you, go for it. You can always spend New Year's/MLK Jr. weekend with someone as a backup. Good luck and stay relaxed:0)

  4. This is our first go at it so I feel ya! I am not sure how it will be once Gummy is here so for the moment we are just going to enjoy it. You guys will find what's right for you :)