Sunday, December 21, 2014

Screw Tradition, We're Makin' Our Own!

I think this is something that everyone goes through at some point in their life. Here I am a grown, adult "child" of my parents'. I have my own family, my own house, and pay my own bills, but yet I struggle during the holidays to stray from MY parents' traditions at the holidays. Then when I throw in the hub's family and their traditions, it's a big cluster fuck.

Prior to kids we would have 2 places to go to Christmas Eve and 2-3 Christmas Day, plus the various other family Christmas celebrations throughout the month of December. This was the tradition we knew, chaos. I hated the holidays. Now don't get me wrong, I love seeing my family and spending time with them, but I hated the schedule we had to hold to. It was always, "Okay we have to leave by 6:37pm in order to make it to the next place relatively close to the expected time."

Things changed last year. Since Layne was just barely a month old at the time and my mom doesn't live close, I got to host Christmas Eve for one side of the family and then everyone else just came and saw us on Christmas Day. It was glorious! There was no rushing or us worrying about if Dayton would have a melt down and no where to escape to or hoping and praying Kayden wouldn't get into a million breakable items, destroying all of them.

Now it's 2014, and I don't have a newborn any more. I struggle with going back to "tradition" or saying fuck it all. I'm going with the later. I've realized that we need to create our own traditions, separate from that of MY family. For literally the first time in my life, we aren't having anyone over for Christmas Eve or going anywhere. I offered to host Christmas Eve again, but my family wants to keep their tradition, which is completely understandable! It's just too damn stressful on us, and I think our families struggle to understand this. I get the, "The kids will be fine." Yeah, they'll be fine because we will be following them everywhere preventing them from destroying everything that isn't kid friendly, but not enjoying the time ourselves and then resenting the other person for making us come. Thus leading to a quiet ride home, because we are so pissed at each other. That shit isn't happening this year. I've accepted the idea of, "If you don't want to come see us, that's fine. Merry Christmas!"

So we are making our own "Snyder Traditions!"

Weeks Prior to Christmas

  • Ornaments
    • I love homemade ornaments, especially ones that help to show how small the kids are at the time. So we made some salt dough ornaments and are giving them to grandparents for presents and also putting them on our tree. They are far from perfect, apparently Kayden has 6 fingers!
Kayden made Santas, Layne Christmas trees and Dayton made Rudolph! 

  • Gingerbread House
    •'s a goal. We attempted this year, and apparently failed miserably. I don't have the patience to wait for each piece to "set" before putting the next one on and my lovely spouse is too much of "building perfectionist" to be of any help. ..........there's always next year!


Christmas Eve

  • Meal
    • We aren't having a "traditional" Christmas Eve meal. We are doing something simple, finger foods and maybe (if I feel ambitious) something in the slow cooker. 

  • Santa's Cookies
    • We are having the kids help make and decorate sugar cookies for Santa. 
  • Presents
    • The kids get to open their Christmas Eve Box. We started this last year. We include new pajamas, a Christmas book and a small snack. 
  • Movie
    • Once we get cozy in our jams and have read our books, we are going to watch The Polar Express and have our snacks before hitting the sack and waiting for Santa!
Christmas Day
  • We aren't going ANYWHERE! We have various family members swinging by to see the kids, but besides that, it's just us! The kids will open presents, eat cinnamon rolls and play with all of their new toys! After all, isn't that the best way to spend a day with kids!

To some this may seem an extremely boring way to spend the holiday, but to us, it seems perfect. I know that things will change and evolve as the kids get older. There will be new things that we add and maybe somethings we retire, but they will be OUR traditions. Not our parents' that we are struggling to hold onto. Am I sad that I won't see the family that I only see at Christmas? Yeah, but at the same time, I think everyone needs to understand that our lives aren't cookie cutter, and neither are our kids. We have to do what's best for them, and if staying home during the holidays is best for them (and our sanity), then that's what we will do! 

I'm taking a holiday "break" to enjoy the kids! I'll be back in a week or so! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year!  

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