One thing I have loved as an adult is hearing about all the different holiday traditions. Yesterday was my husband and my’s seventh Thanksgiving together. It has been so fun to experience his family’s traditions, introduce him to mine, and create new ones ourselves.
We typically eat lunch at my in-laws and spend the earlier part of the day at their house. One of my favorite traditions that his family does is write in a card each year what you are thankful for and what major events happened since the previous Thanksgiving. To be honest, the first year was so intimidating and I felt like I needed to have this well-articulated and prepared essay. After 10 minutes or so, I finally started writing a few thoughts and then quietly put it back in the envelope. I tend to stress over the silliest things, so I thought about that for a couple of hours. Luckily, I forgot about it until the following year. Then, I pulled out the card and read about the previous year. I remember reading about how excited I was to be spending our first Thanksgiving together with his family and had hoped that we would continue to grow in our relationship. Well, that year we were engaged and the following year married!! Now, I LOVE this tradition! It is so great to go back through each year and read about the amazing memories over the years!!
My family doesn’t exactly participate in any real traditions. We basically just eat a traditional turkey dinner, have some pumpkin pie, and have an extremely unstructured evening. We may sit around the family room chatting, go out for coffee, see a movie at the theater or at home, or take a nap. I love the casualness of it all and being free to go where the night takes us. My family tends to get loud and I think my husband, at times, gets overwhelmed. But he’s getting used to it. My favorite thing is sitting around the table after dinner reminiscing and telling stories. My brother is 10 years older so I get to hear about stories I don’t remember and he hears about things that happened after he was already in college. My stomach usually hurts from all the laughter (and probably all the food!).
Most of all, I love the new traditions as a family of two (plus 4 dogs). We enjoy the wild and crazy Black Friday shopping. We have been known to go out at 3 am, stand in the freezing cold, rain, and sleepless night to get all sorts of awesome and ridiculous things! However, it’s the day after Thanksgiving that absolutely makes me excited. Getting to decorate the Christmas tree. This year we put it up a little early, but refused to put any ornaments on until the day after. So that’s what we did tonight. We don’t do a fancy tree. We have a hodgepodge of ornaments – some we just love and some have special meaning. This one is one of many favorites.
We got this one from my mother-in-law. It’s a diamond ring with a heart in the middle. She painted it with our names, the word “engaged”, and the year 2011. I always find the most prominent place for this one!! What are your traditions??