Growing up our holiday plans were fairly predictable. Since we lived less than an hour from both sets of my grandparents as well as the majority of our extended family we always woke up in our own home Christmas Day and we always saw the majority of our family unless weather or sickness arrived.
For Ordell, the family traditions remain. One household hosts Thanksgiving and another hosts Christmas. Anyone who is in town is welcome and there is always an amazing amount of delicious foods. Once we married we were able to continue to participate in most of the holiday traditions, but with everyone else’s celebrations established we’ve had a hard time establishing our own holiday traditions.
When the boys were little it wasn’t a huge deal, we would just have Christmas at home a few days before we traveled. As they’ve grown older it’s bothered me each time the holidays roll around and we have to figure out when our family unit will celebrate. Sure, it’s great to see everyone in our extended families and it’s important, which is why we travel. But it’s not the same. Which is why I’ve clung to one holiday tradition.
Thanksgiving Night we watch a movie.
I know, it seems silly, but growing up we never went to the theatre on the holidays, they likely were closed. But nowadays they are open and some of the best movies of the season open on Thanksgiving. We’ve always chosen a family friendly option and sometimes spring for snacks. Some years we don’t make it to the theatre, but the plan is the same.
We do the same thing every year on Thanksgiving evening. We go to the movies and I’m so thankful for this tiny tradition. Regardless of who we eat a meal with, or what state we are in, we have something that our kids can expect and look forward to doing.
What’s the big deal?
There are very few things our kids can count on each year. They are old enough to know they may not live in the same house one holiday season to the next. They understand they may not see family at all on Thanksgiving depending on where we are living. And while this is not the worst thing in the world, this tradition we’ve established is one they can continue with their own families for years to come.
Additionally, there are so many things with the coaching life that make our family different than that of friends it’s nice to have one thing that is similar.
The best part of our tradition is the ease.
Other families spend weeks making homemade crafts or foods, decorating, picking out matching pajamas, sending the perfect Christmas card. And those things are all amazing. But the best part of our one holiday tradition is that it requires minimal effort. It requires very little planning and even less energy to complete. We can even participate in our pajamas if we choose.
So, while our one holiday tradition may not be the most original or the fanciest it is ours and I love it.