Wednesday, December 13, 2017


I shared a Facebook meme the other day that really struck a chord with me. It was a reminder that we are "not obligated to continue holiday traditions that leave us broke, overwhelmed or exhausted". I couldn't agree more. Over the years, my side of the family has gone from giving gifts to every single person, to drawing names, to doing a white elephant grab and swap kind of thing, and from very elaborate feasts on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to something much more casual.  No matter how we do it, we always have a great time when we're together. The same is true with our little family unit. There were times when we were alone in a foreign country, missing out on all the family get-togethers. That's when our friends became our family, forging bonds to last a lifetime, and we ended up having some of the best celebrations ever. When all the kids in our family grew up, things morphed yet again. We started celebrating as a group in mid-December, so that the kids and grandkids could each celebrate in their own homes on Christmas day.

The first time Hubby, the kids and I celebrated alone here in Wimberley, a new tradition was born. The flagship Whole Foods store had just opened in downtown Austin, and the four of us decided to go down there on Christmas Eve to see what all the hoopla was about, and to gather delicacies for our Christmas feast. Oh my, what fun we had! Over the years however, when they added a skating rink and lots of other stuff for the holidays, the crowds grew and grew, until it finally became more hassle than fun. Then there was a period where we went to the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar each year. The last two years we got together here, at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar...

which worked pretty well with an infant/toddler in a stroller.

Next year, with an almost-three-year-old, that may not be true. But that's OK. We'll adjust. You see, the tradition isn't about where we go. It's about being together, doing something fun.

Because the holidays aren't about doing everything just the way your mother or grandmother did it, upholding all the traditions that were important to them back in their youth. They are about being with those you love now, creating memories and traditions that will be meaningful to them. And, which won't leave you broke, overwhelmed, and exhausted!

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