Christmas Together: A story of marriage, extended families, and holiday traditions

Chris and I have already enjoyed a dozen Christmases together. Early on, we had to decide how to share the holidays with both our extended families scattered about the Midwest. We chose to alternate years. As our cousins and siblings have gotten married, they've joined our pattern. One year we do Christmas with my family and the next with his. Though over the years it's become less his and mine and more ours.

On the Weaver years, like this year, we drive to Chicago (or earlier to Colorado). We enjoy ample time fireside, a fancy dinner out on Christmas Eve, and lots of togetherness. On the Fishman (Hoag) years we drive north to Iowa. We enjoy Happy Birthday Baby Jesus cake, candlelight services at the Lutheran church where my mom grew up, and lots of togetherness.

At first, the Weaver years felt like a sweet holiday, but not Christmas. It was too hard to imagine Christmas outside of my own childhood traditions, outside of waking up and celebrating with my mom and dad and sister.

Slowly though, as our marriage has deepened and as our family has grown, the location matters less and less. For us, Christmas is now: waking up together, laughing with our own children, dancing in our socks, being around people we love, and remembering to count our blessings. Now, every December together truly feels like...Christmas.

 Wishing peace and love, to you and yours, at Christmas and always.

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