Christmas Traditions – Breaking Old & Making New
December 26, 2018
Yesterday was December 25th, Christmas Day. Traditionally, I spend Christmas with my family either at home or LA. We wake up and ALWAYS blast Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ as we all gather around the tree with a cup of tea and some toast. One by one we open presents that are evenly distributed between each family member. I get so much joy out of watching my family members open presents that I’ve carefully chosen for the year. Christmas music plays in the background the whole time and we spend an hour or so together opening presents and enjoying our cuppa. The remainder of the day is spent in pjs playing games, watching movies and just spending solid quality time before we prepare the Christmas dinner (this usually includes a chicken and full roast but this year I would’ve insisted on something more vegan-friendly 😬). At dinner we open crackers (a British tradition), read the jokes inside and wear the silly paper crown hats that NEVER fit my head 🙈 If you can’t already tell, Christmas is my favourite holiday of the year. It’s not about the presents, but rather the traditions and uninterrupted quality family time that fills the house with so much joy.
This year, however, I spent Christmas away from home (for the second time ever in my life) with Eddie’s family. We’ve been doing a road trip around Portugal and Spain before ending in Marbella to enjoy Christmas and New Year’s. This Christmas was completely different for me. You see, Eddie’s family is Venezuelan which means they celebrate Christmas on the 24th. The big dinner. Opening presents. All of it happens on the 24th in the evening. If you follow me on Instagram you would’ve seen the dinner spread we made for 10. I spent hours in the kitchen prepping some vegan options for all and I was completely and utterly in my element. I thoroughly enjoyed spending my day that way and ending it with bellies full of veggies. I had somehow forgotten that we were opening presents that night and before you know it we were doing a full exchange of gifts!
I won’t lie, it felt so strange. For someone who has done Christmas the exact same way every year for 29 years, doing it completely differently this year felt… odd. Wrong almost. But, after a quick talk with myself, this emotion disappeared almost immediately. Who cares? This is a new experience and a chance to create new memories and experiences. We drank, laughed, exchanged presents/stories and then went to bed with full hearts. Christmas Day was a normal day. Woke up (although Eddie did play my Slade song – what an angel!), made breakfast, watched Home Alone (which was a lovely Christmas tradition to continue) and then we took a trip to Gibraltar for some exploration. (In case anyone is wondering, besides the magnificent Rock of Gibraltar, it wasn’t an overwhelmingly incredible place to visit). Regardless, our day didn’t revolve around typical Christmas traditions and I had a beautiful day still!
Perhaps a strange thing to analyze, but this experience of breaking traditions and creating new ones really gave me a perspective of what’s truly important: spending time with loved ones. Traditions can be fun and give you something to look forward to each year/season, but they’re also okay to amend. As Eddie and I just recently wed and have since begun talking about the next chapter in our lives, I’ve now come to realize that the two of us will start creating our own memories, traditions, customs, etc. and that has made my heart content and given me something to look forward to.
Here’s to breaking traditions, creating new ones, and appreciating the loved ones we have in our life.