There’s Someplace Like Home For the Holidays

by brandt

I don’t think I”ll ever understand when the “newlywed” phase wears out.  I’ve heard lots of different timeframes: After you’ve been married 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, after you’ve had a child, after you’ve had your first major fight, after bodily functions are normal and encouraged, after weight becomes a non-issue (that one made me laugh), never (gag me).

I say that because now that Ashley and I have been married for 3.5 years, it feels like I’m learning things every day and there are days where I still feel like a newlywed, and days where it feels like we’re old folk married for a lifetime.  And then there are days when I wish future-Brandt would have left me a list of little things to remember, so that I could learn life’s little lessons a bit sooner.

For example:

  • A little blue box from Tiffany’s is a great idea for a gift.  Be prepared, though, because her tastes will increase exponentially with this purchase.
  • She said “I like sports” before you got married.  But she likes sports as in watching a football game once a month.  She doesn’t like sports as in watching the NFL Thursday Night game, then going to a HS football game on Friday night, then watching 3 college football games Saturday, and then watching 3 more on Sunday.  Shape up, dork.
  • Your version of clean will never be her version of clean.  And her version of clean is better than yours.
  • Be prepared for extremely awkward sleeping arrangements.  You two both are floppers who go on each other’s side of the bed while sleeping.  You were warned.
  • You will always love movies.  Don’t forget that.

One of the things that been the most interesting change since marriage, and something that needs to have an entire book written about it, was the family holiday situation.  I hate saying it, but whoever decided that Thanksgiving and Christmas needed to be 1 month apart and whoever decided that airlines need to skyrocket their prices during these times needs to be held accountable TO ME for their actions.

I think it’s one of the unwritten compromises that comes up when the holidays roll around.  I know my parents have told me that they worked out something with their parents, where one side would have Christmas Eve, the individual families do Christmas morning, and then we switch back over to the other side for Christmas Afternoon/Evening.  I can’t complain about that.  That’s not too bad.  Except my grandparents on both sides lived about 30-45 minutes apart.  When it comes to Ashley and I’s families, it’s not that easy.

If we were to drive from our apartment to my parents house, it would take 14 minutes (about 6.8 miles).  If we were to drive from our apartment to her parent’s place, it would take 1 day and 4 hours (about 1,710 miles).  I guess that’s what happens when you marry a girl from Utah and drag her off to Michigan, eh?

But I’m not complaining.  Instead, I’m advocating for CHANGE!  and MORE COWBELL!

(the quality isn’t the best, but you’ll excuse that, right?)

One of the interesting things about the Christmas holiday is the traditions that have been forgotten.  The 12 Days of Christmas song?  That actually used to be part of the Christmas holiday.  The advent calendar that so many of us have hanging during Christmastime?  Yup, used to be part of the holidays as well.  If my Wikipedia reading is correct, the holidays used to be quite different from what we have now.

The “advent,” for the holiday season, revolved around waiting and preparing for Christmastime.  Many Advent Calendars were used as a countdown.  Thus, people used the days to prepare for Christmastime and the 12 Days of Christmas.  The 12 Days was actually a celebration going from Christmas Day until 12 days afterwards (more history on this can be found in the wiki articles, which deal a lot with the religious history of all this stuff).  Because of the consumerism and popular nature of Christmas Day, many end the celebrations on that day, and have Christmas Eve/Day as the culmination of the celebrations.

Why do I advocate bringing back the 12 days of Christmas?  Because I’m selfish.  First, since most have those days off work, it would make party-going much easier.  Instead of having every Saturday night crammed, we could be spending that time preparing for the celebration of family and friends.  Then, during those 12 days of Christmas, we can be partying it up and being with each other!  Plus, it would make finding plane tickets much easier.  And if you really think about it, having those dedicated 12 days can really help bring out the celebration of the holidays that needs to happen, instead of random pieces of plastic that will be outdated in a few years.

Friends!  Associates!  Readers!  Random Google Searchers!  Join me in bringing about the change that is needed!  We are small in number, but we can rise up and loosen the grip that the corporations have on us during the holidays.  JOIN AND CELEBRATE!

So how do you all coordinate holidays with family and in-laws?  Am I the only one who struggles with it?

Santa image taken from Michael Martin’s Flickr page.

PS – We’re touring another house tonight, which means we’ll have more pictures and another house write-up.  This one is a long-shot, but you’ll never know if you don’t try!

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2 Comments to “There’s Someplace Like Home For the Holidays”

  1. 12 days of Christmas? Would I be one to turn this down???

    I’m lucky that Eric and I, Eric’s parents and my parents all live within a 25 minute radius of each other. I consider ourselves very fortunate. We can usually hit both houses up in one night, or my family hosts Eric’s family…

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