It’s the final part of my Holiday Home Tour (see part 1 and part 2). Earlier in the fall I heard someone say that all anybody really wants at the holidays is sameness. That made me pause – it’s the truth, isn’t it? We want it to feel just like it did when we were little, or when we were at Grandmother’s house, or when we’d all get together on Christmas Eve for Dirty Santa. Regardless of the thing, it’s the tradition that counts.
I remembered my first Christmas as a newlywed 11 years ago. Christmas Eve just wasn’t the same; I was surrounded by my lovely new husband’s family and it was fun and happy, but it wasn’t the Christmas I was used to. Everything was suddenly different and it was, well, hard. And thus began that sometimes-painful forging of our own family traditions. A few years ago we made the Executive Decision to open presents amongst our little family on Christmas morning at our own home. It made all the difference to have that consistency.
I’m realizing this all the more with my own children. Jude, especially, is always aware if anything is different than it was before at Christmas so I’m trying hard to reign in my design ADD a little bit even if my aesthetic has shifted slightly to provide that consistency. Because there’s something comforting about sameness, right?
On Wednesday night, we went to my parents’ house with a big casserole and put up their Christmas trees. Simon and Jude hung the lights outside and I dug through the hall closet to find all the other decorations. It’s a mishmash of things that were my Grandmother’s, nativities gifted from various other families, these weird caroler figurines that always freaked me out as a kid, and each individual ornament bagged in its own Ziploc (haaaaa — my mother is the QUEEN of putting things in Ziploc baggies).
It doesn’t matter what the decoration looks like, although there is something pleasurable to me about it. It’s about the remembering, the memories, the tradition, those who came before us, and bringing magic to those littles who come after us.