I don't come from a particularly sentimental family. No, scratch that, I don't come from a particularly outward sentimental family. I currently live in a house full of things that Nicole has some emotional attachment to because of her family, but I would be hard pressed to find such things in my parents' house.
I'm not saying any of that as if it's bad. I don't think it is, really. I think there's something to be said for not forming borderline unhealthy attachments to inanimate objects.
Classic example of how my family operates: My mom once told me that she wouldn't be upset if Nicole and I stopped coming to Ohio (where they live) for Christmas. The caveat was that we'd come some other time during the year. In the end, seeing us trumped having to see us at a particularly time, a time when the weather is miserable and everyone in the country is traveling.
I really appreciate that about my family, but I suppose I would, given that it's my family. All that mattered to my mom in the above scenario is that she got to see us. The rest was all unnecessary details.
It is strange for me to be with Nicole's family during the holidays if for no other reason than I don't really understand the appeal. They all really love Christmas (and Thanksgiving) and it just doesn't do much for me. It's hard for me to really get into it.
And Nicole's family has a bunch of traditions that absolutely, positively have to be upheld every year. There's no question about this. It's like breathing. There's no debate. These traditions have to happen or...well, there is no "or," because it's not an option.
I find the rigidity of traditions frustrating as hell, but I've learned to adapt.
But next Christmas I'll have a son, a ten month old son, and I'm starting to get excited about creating our
|Probably how my wife feels.|
For me, this is a blank page. My family has a few traditions, but nothing that I'm desperate to hold on to when creating a holiday celebration for my son. Nicole's family has plenty of traditions, but I'm hoping those will be covered on Christmas Eve. I'm hoping what we create will be brand new and specific just to us.
I think about things like getting to open a single present on Christmas Eve or a traditional Christmas Day breakfast, maybe cinnamon buns and hot chocolate (as if a little kid would need more sugar). I think about setting up the tree with an enthusiastic kid to help. I think about Christmas morning when it's just the three of us (and the cats), our little nuclear family getting to spend the day together.
And I get to be Santa Claus, people! I mean, not really -- not like I'm going to dress up or anything, because our kid will be smart enough to see right through that. But Nicole and I get to sit up late and put together toys while our son sleeps. We get to sneak all the presents under the tree and experience that crazy euphoria that comes from a child who has just had a visit from Santa.
I can't wait for the holidays with my son. I suppose this is a regular thing: suddenly enjoying things in life that were ordinary before, because now you have a child to experience them with.
It's going to be a whole new world.