Growing up we had our own holiday traditions. Both sets of grandparents lived within 20 minutes of our house, so we were there often. Our family’s came up with a compromise and rotated holidays. One year we would be with my dad’s family for Thanksgiving and my mom’s family for Christmas and then next year we would switch.
As I grew up, the rotation pretty much stayed the same. With 3 ministers in the family, we often had to rearrange Christmas, especially if it fell on a Sunday, but we didn’t mind. All that mattered was that we would be with family and that was good enough for me.
Another tradition I remember growing up were all the games we played. When my dad’s family would get together they would play games. We would often play charades or simple board/card games while the kids were awake. Then, the kids would be put to bed and we would sneak around from “the girls room” to the “boys room” scaring each other or just telling stories and laughing. Of course, the adults never heard us because they were in the other room playing games well into the night.
I remember hearing stories of not letting two of my aunts be partners because they would pass cards under the table between their toes – ironically the 2 preachers wives so they could beat their husbands. But no matter the game, they always had fun and lots of laughter.
When I got married I wanted to carry on some of those same traditions. For the first 7 years of our marriage, we lived near family so we did the rotation thing and it worked well. My husband and I’s families live in the same town, so we have both sets of parents and 3 of 4 sets of grandparents all living within 25 minutes of each other. And everyone wanted to see us at every holiday, which made them difficult, to say the least.
In some ways, holidays were little easier when we moved to Indiana. We travel home for one holiday a year, so we have to do a lot of scheduling to make sure we see everyone. It was then that we decided to start creating our own holiday traditions.
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