Sunday, December 21, 2014

Empty nest holiday traditions

As a mixed religious heritage couple, when our children were young we celebrated everything - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Easter, Passover and birthdays with lots of family, food and activities. Then we moved far away from family with just one teen who is long grown up and flown from the nest. So we have adapted our celebrations to make us happy and not feel sad that we are going through the motions of celebrations past without the joy of extended family. By the way it is a choice not to travel across country for Thanksgiving and Christmas as we certainly could spend it with family.

That being said, here's our scaled down, perfect for us now holiday season. We go to any holiday parties that are available, send a few cards, drive around to see the outdoor holiday decorations and go out to dinner on Christmas eve.  We are thinking that we will go to a movie on Christmas Day. Some years we go to a Christmas concert before the day. No decorations, exchange gifts with our kids and my FIL but not each other, and that is it.

It is perfect for us right now. Last night we did our "Let's go see the lights" drive as the weather was great. We oohed and ahed, made up award categories (More is more, best light show, best minimal decorations, best effort, highest in the trees, etc.) and had a good laugh over that while enjoying the beauty of lights in the dark.

I'm sure when we move back close to family our traditions will all change again and that will be great too.

Hope you are enjoying your holidays in a way that is perfect for you in your life right now!


  1. Good post, Juhli! I have spent many Christmases away from family and learned to like a small and unfussy holiday. Now we are near relatives again and we have the option of being guests at family celebrations rather than creating our own, so we do that. Our house has a tree, some chocolates, and some small "stocking stuffer" gifts with a price limit we set. Mostly love to eat well and watch movies!

  2. So many of us are paring down our holiday celebrations and decorations and it suits us just fine. My husband and I will enjoy our traditional tamales Christmas morning and have a quiet dinner later in the day. A movie in the afternoon is a good idea but, at least where we live, it's actually gotten quite busy that day.