by Diane Burton
This time of year means family get-togethers. Wait. Didn’t we do that last month? Sometimes, we cram visits that should be spread throughout the year into four weeks. While getting together with family and friends can be fun, it can also mean stress. Everything has to be perfect—our homes, the food, the gifts, the decorations. But life isn’t perfect. We’re human.
Maybe that’s the crux of it. We are human. We’re not. But sometimes we put too much on ourselves. We women have to be SuperWife /SuperMom /SuperHostess. But do we really? Will the world come to an end if we cater instead of homemade? Many grocery stores will prepare a meal. All we have to do is pick it up and heat it up. Do people come to our homes to see the decorations or to see us? So, you didn’t have time to put up all the decorations your mother did. Trust me, the world will not stop revolving around the sun.
Going with the flow comes easy for few people. I’m learning, but it’s taken many years to reach that stage. Change is hard. Changing family traditions is even harder. If you can’t celebrate the way you (and your parents before you) always did, why not start new traditions? If you always drove “over the river and through the woods” across town or across the state, when you’re already exhausted, stay home. Make the holiday about your immediate family. Kids want to stay home and play with their gifts. At least, that’s what Hubs said he wanted to do when his family went to an aunt’s for Christmas dinner. I wouldn’t know about that, since we never went anywhere as kids. Rarely did our grandparents come. As we married and had our own children, we still went to Mom and Dad’s for Christmas dinner. Soon, there were twenty-five of us, sometimes more with our in-laws joining in, and we ate dinner around the ping-pong table.
With both our grown children and their families living nearby, Hubs and I travel to their homes. We’ll open our gifts to each other the night before. We’ll visit one family early in the morning then the other family will host all of us later in the day. We’re fortunate that we don’t have to fly or drive far.
You know how I mentioned new traditions? Our Christmas Eve tradition (don’t ask how it came about—nobody remembers 😊) has been to go to the 5pm children’s service, pick up Chinese, and go to daughter’s or son’s home. This year, our church isn’t having a 5pm service. Instead, services are at 7pm and 9pm. A little late to be eating afterwards or too early to eat before. So, we’re making new plans. Talk about going with the flow. No worries. In the end, what counts is family together.
Although my family holiday traditions are Christian, I know many of our readers have different traditions as they celebrate Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Mawlid an-Nabī, Dhanu Sankranti, Bodhi Day, etc.
However you celebrate, I wish you joy and happiness with your family and friends and blessings for a great new year.
About the Author
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband.
Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website. Connect with Diane Burton online at her blog, on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and on Pinterest. Sign up for Diane’s new release alert.
You can read Diane’s “Family Life” column on the 3rd Wednesday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.