The Joys of Christmas Consistency

We are now in the midst of the holiday season and I hope you are having as much fun as I am. So far (fingers crossed) I have not gotten sick, which is a plus over other years. Tonight I had my parents and Grandfather over for a Christmas meal. I made meatloaf (gluten free using potato flakes), potatoes and butternut squash, zucchini and squash and russian cream with fruit for dessert. It was all pretty delicious and we had a nice time together

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Anyway, as we were visiting I asked my Mother if she could remember a special Christmas from her youth. Maybe one where she had gotten something she really wanted or done something special but she couldn’t think of anything. Then I asked my Dad and he had the same response. I thought about my youth and to mys surprise I also couldn’t think of specific memories. One year I got an American Girl doll and that was pretty special but most of the Christmas memories mesh together into a big happy time.

The more I thought about it the more I realized perhaps that consistency is the greatest thing about holidays and traditions. The memories aren’t all that important but it’s that they happen every year and feel for the most part the same. As an adult I’ve lost a lot of that consistency because every year seems to be different, with different people.  This year I have celebrated Christmas with my brother Sam and sister Maddie already and have given my parents their gift because they were all traveling.

Then we just had the meal tonight and I will probably be alone through Christmas unless my Aunt or someone decides to join me. This is now my 4th Christmas alone so I suppose that is becoming consistent but each year I’ve done something different.  In 2013 I met up with friends and went to a movie, in 2014 I was deathly ill, in 2015 I went to Chinese food. I don’t know what I will do this year. Maybe I will finish binge watching Fuller House Season 2? Who knows? 🙂

It’s kind of impossible to make my Christmas season more consistent because I just don’t know what is going to be happening from year to year.  Still, I try to always have my Christmas tree, go to Messiah Sing Along and Christmas Carol. I’ve done all those things this year. So, there is some consistency.

Anyway, it’s just something I have been thinking about. Maybe a happy life isn’t about making memories per say but more about creating traditions we can count on year after year?

What do you think? Can you see what I am saying?

I would love to hear your insight.

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7 thoughts on “The Joys of Christmas Consistency

  1. I tend to remember the Christmases that broke from consistency because they stand out. For instance, you remember the year you went and got Chinese food, so maybe there is merit in doing something totally new. I remember the Christmases I spent on my mission because they were some of the first to break from that mold, and a couple years ago my extended family flew out to Japan to all do Christmas together while my family was living there. BUT I totally get what you’re saying about consistency, because when it comes to my childhood, I can trace memories back by using a tradition like a thread to hold on to instead of trying to sort through the meld. Thankfully my family has all sorts of traditions, because I was obsessed with starting them when I was a kid. I’ve always had the belief that you can start anything and call it a tradition, and in just a couple years it’s going to feel just as nostalgic as anything else. I even came up with a new “tradition” for this year, hahaha, and my extended family is all excited about doing it. So yeah, creating that consistency can be part of the magic.

    1. I have often thought I should write a book about your life. You have had such an interesting life! You make great points about the mixture of traditions and breaking the mold. My roommate in college didn’t really have traditions and it definitely affected her. I’ve seen her now with her family really try to implement them; however, this year for Thanksgiving she decided to shake things up and they went out to dinner. She was worried at first but it worked out great! Just goes to show a balance is a good thing

  2. I think there’s value in creating both consistency and memorable Christmases (which really require two different approaches). I’ve noticed the same thing, that I don’t have specific memories associated with Christmas, more a memory of the feeling associated with particular traditions. We do Christmas in our family similarly to how I did it as a kid, but we are talking about going on a vacation instead of doing a normal Christmas one of these years. We were going to do it this year but decided to go back to visit friends in the town we moved from last year over New Year’s instead. I wouldn’t want to do a vacation instead of our traditions every year, but I think peppering some of those in might help keep our Christmases memorable and also nostalgic while still spending some really quality time with each other.

    1. You make a great point about needing both consistency and memorable Christmases. I guess in a way I kind of have both- traditions like with my tree and going to Christmas Carol and new stuff like when I open presents and who I spend the day with. I think peppering in some unique Christmases is a great idea. We’ve never traveled on Christmas except for my mission and I’ve always thought it sounded like a fun idea.

  3. Merry Christmas. You are not the only one that has a ritual of being alone on christmas. Ive spent the last 5 years alone on christmas. My family live 1800 miles away and I wish I could be with them. I have my own traditions I make for myself that I do every year for consistency. My thoughts is with consistency, memorable moments can still pop up when you least suspect it. Some little Christmas miracle can sneak in when you least suspect it, with the love in your heart, anything can happen at any moment. The fact that it can happen when you least suspect it, is the magic. And it happens. I hope you have a truly wonderful holiday. Wish I could buy you an eggnog for the season, but have one for me. Merry Christmas.

    1. Thank you so much. That is such a sweet and encouraging message. If anything Christmas should teach us to be hopeful of good things to come. I try to keep up that hope. I hope you had a nice day and mine ended up being very nice.

  4. I definitely understand this idea after my own Christmas Day. With regards to previous Christmases, 2013 stands out as I was in the middle of a forest in Guatemala (we had a little party at midnight, with chicken and cake), and 2014 was slightly out of the ordinary as we ate out for Christmas dinner. But this year – and as I recall, last year as well – it was all the usual routine with regards to present opening, dog walking, seeing family members, having dinner and watching the Doctor Who Christmas special. And I was more than happy with that. I definitely want to make new memories in other areas of my life but as Christmas is only once a year, I wouldn’t mind if it was the same each time.

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