“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Holiday season is here! Christmas decorations are everywhere the Thanksgiving fixings have been picked over and the busiest traveling, shopping and eating season is upon us. Sometimes with all the lights and presents we lose sight of what this time really means. One of the challenges of this season is combining holiday traditions. Whether its friends, family or colleagues every group has its own way of celebrating and staying connected. I have learned that by speaking up, compromising, and making a genuine effort to trying something new you can have a fulfilling and stress free season.
When I began dating, my now husband, I immediately was introduced to the world of sports and the outdoors. At first I was extremely self-conscious of how I sounded when I tried to talk sports, or how out of shape I was. Being exposed to their family traditions allowed me to awaken a side of me that I had not to fully develop. During our last visit to Colorado I opened myself to each experience, letting go of any self doubt. I was able to knowledgeably support my husband’s alma mater, rush the field, and shoot a gun and loved every second of it. When those opportunities for a new experience pop up grab onto them!
For me the holidays are made extra special by scents and food. Just catching a whiff of fresh pine, warm spiced cider, or fresh pumpkin pie transports me to childhood memories. So when I found out my husband is anti-tree murder, I was crushed. While the adult in me understood that cutting down trees simply to decorate and then throw away is incredibly wasteful and bad for the environment, the child in me wanted to throw a tantrum and scream “you cant have Christmas without a real tree!”. Thankfully the adults in us have found a solution! Fill the house will soy spruce and pine scented candles and have a fake tree. We both were able to speak up and say what makes the holidays special to us without ignoring the other’s viewpoint.
It is really easy to get caught up in self imposed or assumed societal standard during the holiday season. When it comes down to it the real purpose of the holidays is to enjoy each other to the best of everyone’s ability. The best part of combining traditions is creating new ones, and celebrating the life that you have created with the people you have chosen to spend your life with. As a new sports enthusiast and food obsessed individual I love when we can create ways to honor both of our backgrounds and traditions. Remember that the holiday season is about being together, and however you chose to celebrate it.