Eliza Renner worried about changes to her Christmas traditions but found out what makes her customs special.
I’ve always been sentimental about the traditions I’ve enjoyed each Christmas. So when my dad recently remarried, I worried about the changes. Rather than celebrating with my mom in the mountains, as I’ve done the past fifteen Christmases of my life, we would be with my step-mom on the beach. I just couldn’t imagine trading Moon Lake for the Atlantic Ocean, snow for sand, and cool mountain air for coastal sunshine.
Though I was hesitant about the new circumstances, I tried to keep a positive attitude and welcome the change. My comfortably familiar Christmas was traded in for new activities: sewing sock monkeys by the firelight, running down the street to see Santa arrive in the town on a fire truck, playing funny German card games for hours and rounds of Frisbee golf on Christmas day.
By embracing the experience, I ended up having an amazing time, without mixed feelings about reinventing traditions for me and my new family.
I feel like traditions have really connected me to my family, but I don’t want them to prevent me from having new experiences. They have more to do with a state of mind rather than a specific action or place. As I think about my experience this Christmas, I realize that changing traditions hasn’t changed the connection to my family - and I am looking forward to the holidays for years to come.