This Christmas will be a bittersweet one for me.
This will be my first holiday spent with my future in-laws, not with my family. Truth be told, I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with that.
Last Christmas, I was in the kitchen with my sisters, preparing our holiday dinner, when my mother pulled me aside and informed me that this would be the last holiday that Stallion and I spent apart. “Yeah, okay,” I responded with a shrug, promptly disregarding her words. I mean, she was talking a whole year into the future – who cares?
For the past several years, Stallion had been coming to New Jersey with me and staying with my family for the holidays. He couldn’t always afford to travel to Charlotte (such is the life of a grad student), so it just made sense for us both to go to New Jersey. It was close, it was free, and I got to spend time with my family – no complaints here. I got to enjoy my favorite holiday traditions such as elastic waistbands, Jack Daniels and V8 Splash cocktails (so classy and elegant), and binge-watching the A Christmas Story marathon on TBS. What’s not to love?
This Christmas? I’ll be in Charlotte, North Carolina, over 600 miles from my family, with different people, different food, and different traditions. I’m going to have a wonderful time (Stallion told me today that his mother picked up my favorite cheese at the grocery store just for me – seriously, how sweet is that? Please remind me what exactly I’m sad about), but it won’t be the holiday that I’m used to. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll feel exactly how Stallion felt when he started spending holidays away from his family. As much as I love the Filly holiday traditions, they’re certainly not the ones that he grew up with.
It’s the whole “leave and cleave” thing in action, isn’t it? I’m not a kid anymore. I can’t expect things to remain exactly the same forever; even if I continued to spend every single holiday with my family, one of my sisters would eventually go off and celebrate with her future spouse’s family instead. And yet, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that the holiday celebrations of my childhood are in the past now. I understand in theory that it can’t be all about my family 100% of the time, but now that it’s time to put my money where my mouth is, it feels awfully bittersweet. Change is hard, you guys. That’s the whole point of this post. But it’s time for me to put on my big girl panties and deal with it.
Stallion and I are becoming our own family in a few short months. That means it’s high time to start establishing our own traditions instead of clinging to our families’. Maybe for now, we can rotate holidays – we can spend Christmas in Charlotte, but Thanksgiving in New Jersey, or something along those lines – and someday, we can host both of our families at our own home. We’re fortunate in that both of our families are letting us figure it out on our own. No guilt trips here, thank goodness.
Instead of thinking about what I’m missing out on with my family this year, I need to think about the good times I’ll have with the Stallions. They’ve done nothing but embrace me with open arms over the years; spending the holidays with them is the absolute least I can do. And as sad as I feel that I won’t be seeing my family on Christmas, knowing how much this means to Stallion makes it worth it.
How about you, hive? How do you handle sharing the holiday’s with your spouse’s family? Does this ever get any easier?
(On that note, I’ll be doing a lot of traveling over the next two weeks, and I didn’t have the foresight to write new posts in advance, so you guys may not be hearing much from me again until after the New Year’s holiday. Just in case, I want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday season. You’ve all been so kind to me, and I’m so excited to continue sharing my wedding planning story with you. Thanks for bearing with me!)