We have decided to stop traveling for Christmas. And there’s nothing “Grinch” about it. We have plenty of holly jolly around the holidays, and we’ve decided to keep our holly jolly local. I think we can all agree that somehow, even during the most magical time, pressures present themselves. Pressure to travel and see loved ones, do all the activities, buy all the gifts, and produce and perform.
We want to keep the magic of the season for as long as possible. And let’s be honest, sometimes it can’t last a road trip or an airplane ride. So, we are keeping that Christmas magic all to ourselves within the boundaries of our home. Sometimes we must evolve our traditions and set new boundaries. I’m here to tell you that it is okay for you to do that.
The holidays can be a really difficult time for military families. You might be away from your spouse, or it might be the financial burdens of gifts and all the extra the season brings. Cut yourself some slack and lessen the load the best you can. For us, that means staying put.
Everyone grew up with their own family traditions. In the melting pot of the military community, there are all kinds of histories and experiences. It can be hard to compare our experiences with others. But we always have a choice to set new traditions and boundaries, and it’s always a great time to self-reflect on how we can live calmer lives. It’s okay to break old traditions for less stress and more intimate family time.
Once we made our decision, I was surprised by the sense of freedom that came with it. Living our lives more intentionally is something we all want to participate in. Less really is more. Aside from our decision to stay local, we are also thinking about how we can cut other pressures from the season.
We are buying less stuff, cutting our budget more and being creative in terms of presents. How can we reframe the pressures of the season into something more constructive? It’s a question worth asking.
For your Christmas season, I hope for less pressure and expectations. I hope for more freedom and more memories full of the magical Christmas spirit.