I love a good Norman Rockwell setting, and I am all about the holidays. But, I also like things simple. And quiet. And peaceful. So, I have changed up our traditions quite a lot through the years. And you can, too!
The weight is on my generation right now. We are the grandmothers of grown children, and lots of us still have littles, too. Traditionally, our house would be the place for everything from birthday bashes to Thanksgiving dinner.
But we are also:
• Downsizing our homes. (You are welcome, children who won’t have to clean out my attic and basement after I die.)
• Retiring or changing to part-time careers. (Thanks, inflation, for making that more fun.)
• Feeling the effects of wear and tear. (Thanks, arthritis and friends who love reminding us about our birthdays.)
It takes bravery to change. And trust that all hearts will remain clear and our family will understand.
We know these changes are inevitable, so why not make them now while we can control the narrative and make the decisions about how we want to live and celebrate?
I’ve found that our children and their children are generally happy about less pressure, too. Nobody needs three Thanksgivings during college break unless two of them involve pajamas and leftovers.
Any tradition can change as long as you communicate clearly and far enough in advance. Here are a few things you might want to try:
• Instead of a Thanksgiving feast, host an evening of pie and desserts before or after.
• Arrange to drop in on the kids instead of having them come to you. Maybe you bring donuts for a casual breakfast or a savory mix for afternoon games. Sit back and enjoy whatever is going on. Go home when you get tired!
• Plan an alternate date and meet up at a central location. We’ve had lots of fun at family-friendly hotels the weekend after Christmas. Everyone pays their own way unless someone is on a tight budget. Then other family members pitch in.
• Ask the kids what they want. You may discover that pizza and football sound better to the grandkids than a formal dinner on your grandmother’s china. (If they want the formal dinner, you can always have it catered.)
Go with the flow and enjoy!