Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Negotiating Christmas

 Negotiating Christmas


I married Tom Waters a week before Christmas. I was eighteen years old. We each brought to our marriage a few Christmas expectations. My family always opened gifts on Christmas Eve. His family opened gifts on Christmas morning. 


That’s fine, but the unstated expectation from each of our families to be present at their respective houses for gift opening left us trying to figure out what gifts we opened in our own home…if any. With a little negotiation on our part, everything eventually worked out.


When my daughters married, they faced the same dilemma.  It was hard to see everyone. Especially since our second daughter’s in-laws lived in Michigan. 

Thank you, Kendall for the Photo

We worked it out by celebrating every other Christmas at our house and on the off Christmases we hosted the Thanksgiving meal and weekend, which turned into what my family renamed “ThanksChristmas”. 


Mike and I are celebrating our first Christmas as a married couple. Mike’s side of the family is in Florida. Most of mine is up north. My mom and two of my daughters (with their husbands and children) live in Ohio. My middle daughter and her family live in Wisconsin.


Mike and I plan to celebrate Christmas in Florida first, then travel the day after Christmas to Ohio to celebrate with all the kiddos and my mom there. 


Because Christmas is on a Monday this year, all of the school aged children…and those members of the family working in the field of education…will be in school through Friday, December 22. So really, our first opportunity to gather is the following week. 


It worked out. This year. 


But anytime you bring families together, there is a period of negotiating how you spend your time during the holidays. It can be tough. 


It may require making a few hard decisions about what traditions to keep, ditch, or reshape. 

Mike and I are open to creating our own Christmas experiences and traditions. I’m sure our Christmas will always involve family and friends. And if you read last week’s blog you know cookies will likely be a part of Christmas in the Tyler household for years to come.


If you missed that post you can find it HERE.





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