This holiday season was a little bittersweet for us. In mid-November we began planning a cross-country to the Bay Area (aka APW territory), meaning we were preparing ourselves for leaving loved ones in the southern US. We’ve moved across the country before (…more than once), so we’re kind of pros, but it’s still nearly impossible to avoid getting a little weepy about it. We spent much of the holidays with different sets of family—our plans included spending the night at three separate parent homes—and watching our favorite holiday films (Love Actually, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Charlie Brown… etc.), while cheers-ing over mimosas or cocoa, depending on age.
This is our ninth holiday season as a couple (and eighth as a married couple). We’ve spent some holidays at home together, some at the homes of friends (especially when living across the country), and others by catching up with family over late lunches or early dinners. We got married pretty early in our relationship, and subsequently found out we had several years of relationship building to do—both between ourselves, and also with the various new members of our new, bigger family.
Which, when you think about it, is the nature of long-term commitment and new family. Part of getting married means you all of a sudden bring on another family as your own, and you have to put in the work of getting to really know one another, forming bonds, and fostering relationships both within and outside of the duo that is your marriage. Some years, this means you end up getting into a big fight with the in-laws that don’t get you. Other years, this means you and your mother-in-law happy-cry about life on the back porch together, while the dudes do the cooking and the child sleeps. Every year in a marriage or long-term commitment brings new lessons, and the holidays usually carry the year’s penultimate lesson.
So now we’re gearing up for life in a new-to-us spot, complete with figuring out the best bike routes, farmer’s markets, and home school-friendly stuff. Here’s hoping your holidays were equally chill, since 2017 is likely going to be a tumultuous year for many of us. I would love to know what you did (and didn’t) learn this holiday season—what worked for you, and what absolutely did not. What relationships you’re so happy to have, and which ones you hope to keep working on it. It’s a process, you guys. We’ll all get there.
How did the holidays go for you? Did you start any new traditions—or did you make sure to observe your favorites from years past?