I was so looking forward to our first Christmas that Spencer and I shared just 7 months after our wedding. We decided to spend it alone rather than with our families...adding to the romance of the holiday. We talked about our traditions and the big ones with both of our families took place on Christmas Eve. So we decided to scrap both of our traditions and start fresh...since neither of us liked the other's well enough to give up our own, we might as well both give them up. So we started a formal dinner on Christmas Eve. As far as we knew, that was the only Christmas compromise necessary.
(The picture is Spencer and I on our first Christmas...Can you believe how skinny we were? It's disgusting.)
We enjoyed our Christmas dinner, stayed up late putting a desk together which we bought with Christmas cash from my Grandma, and went to bed. We could hardly sleep that night. Although our newlywed/student budget only allowed us $5 dollars per person for gifts, we couldn't even wait to see what we got each other. I pictured this perfect little Christmas...like I said, I imagined it to be a little bit romantic. Like straight out of a Hallmark commercial.
far from the romantic Christmas I had been anticipating.
It turns out there are several Christmas morning traditions that I never really considered traditions. I assumed everyone did these things the same way my family did. It took us the entire year following that Christmas to come to an agreement on these things. I think it was the following Christmas Eve (we weren't going to ruin Christmas morning again) when we finally decided that since there was no way to combine them, we split the list in half. He chose half and I chose half. Several years have passed now and they've become our traditions. I've even found joy in doing some of the things Spencer's way.
We've started a new family tradition, too. It is something my college room mate did with her family and I've always liked the idea. She always referred to it as her Eve of Christmas Eve Party. Spencer and I combined our childhood Christmas Eve traditions and celebrate them on the 23rd. We buy a new game for the family to open that night (this year...Hungry, Hungry Hippos) and stay up all night playing games, eating snacks and watching movies...followed by a slumber party under the Christmas tree. Added bonus: the crazies are tired from a late night, helping them sleep better on Christmas Eve.