Our journey began with a simple suggestion for change from my mom. We had been going about the holidays since my parent’s divorce without any official plans, which often meant everyone’s expectations weren’t being met. We needed to find a way to combine the old with the new in order to create a new normal.
We had always eaten a late lunch with my Dad’s family on Thanksgiving. This was something we looked forward to each year and will continue to do so. Black Friday shopping with a family friend began a few years ago. It begins Thursday evening and continues well into the afternoon on Friday. This left Saturday open for something for just the three of us, and Mom had plans for us!
She wanted us to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner each at a different house (mine, my sister’s, and my mom’s), and we would decorate trees as we went. To my sister and me, this was an ambitious plan. Unbeknownst to us, our doubt was the first challenge to our new tradition. The second and more obvious challenge to the plan, was that my sister was unable to move into her new home fully due to some circumstances out of our control. Black Friday shopping and family dinners that filled our schedule served as the third challenge. The final challenge was a flooded basement that was discovered when my family was en route to my house.
During the first year of our new traditions compromise and flexibility was required. We decided against cooking a meal at each house we visited this year. Drying out the basement took up time and energy. My sister’s house wasn’t unpacked from her move. Nothing went as planned, but we were able to spend quality time together decorating Christmas trees. I look forward to seeing how Christmas traditions will be improved upon!