As the Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations are upon us, I think back to how much my holiday traditions have changed since I began the walk down my new life path.
Holiday festivities were never met with huge fanfare in my family. Once in a while during my childhood, we’d go to my Aunt’s for Christmas dinner but, for the most part, ours were simple dinners at home with my immediate family. Our extended families had their own traditions, but we never really had anything noteworthy established in our home. It wasn’t until I met my beloved that I decided to start our own traditions with our newly blended family.
I look back fondly at my naïveté thinking that I could change or modify what his family already had firmly in place. Now, many years later, my husband’s mother is still the proverbial neck that turns the holiday celebration head. Am I bitter? Not really. It is kind of nice not having to spend days on end in the kitchen for a gluttonfest that lasts a mere thirty minutes before everyone disbands and retreats to their separate corners again. Do I wish that I could start a new tradition for my family. Yes. Yes I do.
I’m a grandmother now and have grandiose visions of watching my grandchildren come bounding down the driveway excitedly so that they don’t miss helping me set the holiday table. We’d have cute little name plates for everyone and fold our napkins “just so.” Seeing as my grandbaby has yet to take her first steps or say her first words, I think I still have a little bit of time to plan the future events. But will a change occur? Will I, one day, be the hostess with the mostest? Only time will tell. Will I have to wrestle the holiday crown off of my mother-in-law’s head, or will she be grateful that she is no longer burdened with the responsibilities. Again, only time will tell.
I will say though, one nice thing about this family is that their celebrations do not conflict with the other sides of their family. Since I have no family here, I am not a conflicting factor, but the rest of the rituals run like a fine tuned machine in sharing celebrations with my husband’s sister-in-law’s family and also with my husband’s children’s mother. So that means there is actually a chance that I may, one day, be able to incorporate my own traditions without conflict.
Maybe I should start formulating my six degrees of separation chart for our holiday festivity events. Just thinking about it makes it seem like an impossible algebraic equation. Take the mathematical impossibility of adding my event, in addition to the new paternal grandparent’s events, and it seems daunting at best. Could we bring this multi-faceted blended family all together for one combined event? Hmm… simple addition has indicated that, in addition to me, my daughter and granddaughter, we are looking at about 130 people in attendance at each meal.
I think I need to regroup.
Last week I wrote about my “forever home” with my “forever husband” and daydreamed about my beautiful walk-in closet. I think now I must incorporate another non-negotiable in the floor plans of our forever home – a large dining room. Although my husband and I plan to move to/build a house of similar square footage to what we have now, it’s become clear to me that funneling family into our arctic-temperature basement rec room to dine is no longer suitable for future events. I must think bigger. Will I compromise the size of my walk-in closet in order to accommodate a dining room that can be home to a thirty-seater harvester table? Hell no! If it means that we have one less bedroom (resulting in one of the kids sleeping in a hodgepodge tree house when they come to visit), so be it. I want the best of both worlds – walk-in closet, harvester table and Martha Stuart seasonal décor.
“Honey! Can we look at those floor plans again? I think I have an idea.”
Wait…Did I just hear him groan?