With Thanksgiving having just passed and Christmas swiftly approaching we are deep in the throes of overeating, overspending, and family togetherness. It’s struck me how beautifully different we all are when it comes to family. Do you pile your house with relatives, with people packed into every available surface, and sleeping bags lining the floors? Or, are you someone who spends the day with your nuclear family unit, building your own family’s traditions and memories?
I tend to be the latter, but my husband is more of the former. Thanksgiving to me is all about extended family – cousins, aunts and uncles, friends – the more the merrier. But, for Christmas, I’m all about building our nuclear family’s memories and traditions. My husband would love nothing more than air mattresses to line every surface for every holiday, so we compromise.
Thanksgiving is always about extended family – we take turns going to my family or his, switching every other year. Cousins play and laugh, someone usually ends up crying for some reason or another, it’s great! Most Christmases are just us, at least for most of the day, only opening up for extended family and friends late in the day, being selfish of our time together.
But sometimes we pile in the extended family and make family memories. This year will be one of those Christmases. How do you say which is more important? Is one type of memory better than the other? Absolutely not! Either way, I want my kids to be filled with memories, memories of how God has provided, how He has brought us together, memories of the many blessings we have in each other.
For Christmas every year we buy a new ornament. Sometimes the kids get individual ornaments to remind them of things that happened in their year, like the bumblebee that hangs on our tree from Brittney winning the District Spelling Bee. Sometimes they are family ornaments, like the fire truck that now hangs on our tree reminding us of our house fire last Thanksgiving. These remind us of God’s provision and His faithfulness. These memories have molded us and shaped us. They are the blessings we look back on at the end of our days. What are your family holiday traditions?