Did you travel for the holidays? We did. And it was wonderful as much as it was stressful.
Maybe it was just that way for me.
In a blended family, it can be especially stressful. You have to be open to change.
Needless to say, traditions tend to shift–if not completely disappear after divorce. So I am in a continual state of trying to recreate old traditions while being open to…or creating new. A proper matriarch would do all of this with the grace of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.
But Julie Andrews, I am not.
Luckily, my kids are always open to the adventure that is my holiday. They don’t mind being in a different place every year. That is part of the tradition of being with Mom. There are roadtrips one year. Holiday open houses the next year. Zoo visits and hot cider the next year. Meeting new, blended family members that they’ve never met before the next year.
Yep…it’s always an adventure with our family.
But the person that seems to stress about the change the most…is me. Yes, it would be nice to settle into a routine that you can count on. But in my life, what you can count on…is change.
So, as I wade knee-deep into new traditions and I’m embraced by a wonderful new family, my nerves sometimes get the best of me during the holidays. I’m not sure what causes the anxiety. Maybe it’s the fear of making a bad impression.
Maybe I fear my own parenting fails and hope that my kids don’t burp at the dinner table in front of new family.
Perhaps it’s a fear of my own traditions becoming lost in the shuffle.
Or maybe it’s…just me.
As I sit in a hotel lobby enjoying a moment of peace, I smile at the new memories we are making, combined with the memories of my childhood traditions at my Grandparent’s house. With Gene Autry playing in the background. Decorating their old, metallic Christmas trees. Baking Aunt Chick holiday cookies. Sled-riding onto the frozen lake at my neighbors house (what were we thinking?)
So as checkout time approaches…I can’t wait to go home so that I can continue my tradition…
….of creating new traditions.