Sending a little love and light to MIL as I start this post as she was the catalyst for an important decision my husband and I made about the holidays this year.
We have decided to have a family Christmas. Our family. Me, my husband, little bubby, and Lu.
We have decided we will not be traveling, we will not be making the rounds. We will be home, with each other, celebrating in our own way and hopefully creating new traditions together that will be part of our Christmases for years to come.
This decision came after a massive guilt trip laid on both of us from my MIL.
Before little bub was born we would often travel to see my husband’s family for Christmas. It had become an annual trip and we looked forward to it.
We both agreed, even before I became pregnant, that once we had a baby we would not be traveling for Christmas.
Apparently my MIL did not get that message and that turned into a very awkward conversation for me when my in-laws were here a few months ago for a visit.
I have a lot of compassion for my MIL when it comes to her role as grandma, I know she feels disconnection due to distance.
Still, this is a decision we are connected to.
After a few awkward conversations wherein she tried every mom tactic out there to change our minds, with no success, my husband and I had a very intentional conversation around what we want Christmas to feel like.
Some of the words that came up were; connection, Love, peaceful, joy, comfort.
From this we both agreed that we wanted to be home, with each other, enveloped in the day and taking it all in without distraction.
Since making the decision my usual underlying feeling of dread (there has been excitement and joy as well) has lifted.
Knowing that we don’t have to accommodate anyone else’s schedule, we don’t have to travel, we don’t have to haul gifts and little bubby supplies anywhere, we don’t have to DO anything. We can just BE.
That is our gift to ourselves. Connection, Love, Peace, Joy, Comfort. At home.
As this is little bubby’s first real Christmas we are thinking about what our family’s traditions might include. I am thinking about the meal and leaning towards vegan tamales, as tamales are a traditional holiday dish in Mexican culture and we like the idea of tying in our culture into our holiday traditions. I am thinking about how to make the day magical for little bubs without over planning, finding the balance between structured family activities and freedom to play and be. I am also thinking about sweet sacred alone time with my husband once little bubby has gone to bed. I have tossed out the idea of us getting a fire pit for the back yard this year (my husband loves to build a good fire), we are still mulling that idea over. I am playing with the idea of a hot spiced drink and maybe a quiet activity like a holiday puzzle.
This is what I am clear on, it will be wonderful whatever it ends up being. Because we are creating this experience with intention, knowing exactly how we want to feel and really leaning into those feelings as we plan.
Here is the other thing I am clear on, this is the exact right decision for our family. The thing that came up for us as we had that discussion a while back that led to this decision was this; we are a family. So spending Christmas with family does not have to extend beyond us if we don’t want it to. Love to both of our families of origin, they no longer define family for us though. Family can be us or more than us and at any given time we get to decide.
We will still make time for both of our families around the holiday. Little bubs will spend time with family in town before Christmas day and skype with family out of town. This decision was not made from a place of exclusion, it was made from a place of Love and connection.
So as we enter this season I wish you and yours warm tidings of comfort and joy. And Love. Always Love.