The Holidays, Family, and Change

This time last year we were coming up on the holidays, knowing we would be celebrating them together just the two of us, as per our taking a year "off" as newlyweds.

And those holidays, Christmas especially, were quieter than we bargained for. It was kind of tough for me, for both of us, used to many years' worth of decorations around the house, to various random family traditions, and the clamor and chaos of a large family eating and playing together.

Our year together, just us, was a good decision and a very good thing for both of us. But last year's quiet made me rethink my position on always staying home for the holidays, namely Christmas, as was my family's norm when I was growing up.

And as much as I'm an advocate of the importance of leaving and cleaving after getting married, I've also come to realize how important and what a blessing it is to visit, to go back and spend time together. Because cleaving isn't about cutting off relationships but carving a new identity. Someone and I were able to freely and relatively quickly establish our new life, identity, and "normal", with the support of our families who never left any question in our minds that we would have ample space. But while we enjoyed visiting even in the first few months we were married, I will honestly admit that family time is even more special now since we're settled, our identity is established, to us at least, and there's no longer any hint of "awkward-ness" that I might have felt as newlyweds. And that makes holidays sound exciting.

So, we've been talking about holiday trips and visits a lot lately. We're excited to be spending several days with our family in the U.P. over Thanksgiving as well as with my immediate family over the weekend. And we're hoping to make plans to be with our families around and on Christmas, too.

As the snow has started falling every once in awhile for the past week or so, the it's-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like-Christmas feeling isn't quite as unwelcome as usual for me, because it reminds me of holidays with our families to look forward to this year. Someone and I will have our time to celebrate together, but it will be fun to be with family, too, and share the noise.

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