Holidays and Change

Posted by Mary Marvella | 7:34 PM | 2 comments »

Traditions have changed in my family.

I've never prepared Christmas dinner. Our parents lived in the town where we grew up. After we married we returned home for every holiday. When my ex husband's parents were alive, we had Christmas breakfast at their house. Santa visited my daughter, Danielle, there before we had breakfast and opened gifts with my Ex's brother and his family. Then we'd head across town to my parent's house for dinner and more gift exchanging with my parents and my brother and sister and their families. Both houses had loads of laughter and fun.

I tried to make changes by having Santa come to my house, but that meant we had to get up early enough to do Santa, then hurry two hours or more to do the Christmas breakfast thing as usual. We returned to the old way because my mother-in-law liked to see us open our presents and Danielle's Santa.

When my father-in-law passed away, we still followed the same game plan, but when my mother-in-law died my sister-in-law took over the Christmas breakfast. We were back to letting Santa come to our house. We had to pack Santa so Danielle could get a good look at her new stuff. My Ex and Danielle liked the traditions we had started. We still had a late lunch with my family and the kids' honeys.

Once Danielle graduated from college and got an apartment we no longer did the Santa thing at my house, but once again took our Santa to the Christmas breakfast. I missed the Santa at my house thing, but Danielle and her daddy were fine with the change. We still had turkey and lots of fun and noise with my family later.

When Daddy died Mama changed the tradition from turkey dinner to a seafood feast with shrimp and crab legs and such. We still had breakfast with the in-laws.

Mama died before the next Christmas, so my brother welcomed us at his house and we had "seafood" from Mama's freezer. More changed because my husband and I separated. I was no longer expected at his brother's house. Two traditions changed for me. Danielle still went with her dad for the tradition she'd had for so long.
My sister-in-law became our Christmas turkey cooker.

When my daughter married we started another tradition. Her mother-in-law and I share the kids, who alternate Christmas and Thanksgiving with each of us. Now they have to split the holidays here with her dad's family and mine.

Traditions will change again when my daughter has kids. Will she want to give up Christmas breakfast? Will she and her husband continue to alternate holidays and parents?


  1. Beth Trissel // December 15, 2007 at 7:10 PM  

    I like your post, Mary. You're so right. Within a lifetime are many lifetimes and the altering Christmas traditions that follow.

  2. Mary Marvella // December 16, 2007 at 1:49 PM  

    Thanks, Beth. Many of us have seen changes we can accept or bemoan.