Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Open to change

Some friends and I were discussing our plans for Christmas. Some of us are single and with or without children, some in blended families, some married with children, some with grandchildren.

One of the common threads I heard throughout our discussion was flexibility. I sensed a real struggle to hold onto some holiday traditions amid the changing times in which we live. But I heard a real desire to flex with those changes even if it meant creating some new traditions, a "new normal," to use an oft-used term today. We talked a lot about how our expectations can get in the way. We still have a Norman Rockwell vision in our minds, one that's reinforced by cards, songs and ads throughout the season. We want that perfect family experience.

Many of us grew up within miles of our extended family. And we did the same thing year after year for holidays. Perhaps we saw one side of the family on Christmas Eve and the other side on Christmas Day. Or we had Thanksgiving with one and Christmas with the other.

Now families are spread out across the country, sometimes across the globe. It isn't "through the woods and over the hill to grandmother's house we go" anymore. At least, for most of us it's not that way now. And we have to be open to change. Some families I know defer a family get-together until summer, when it's easier to travel and less hectic all around.

What have you done to flex with the times? Do you have any sage wisdom to give the rest of us? I'd love to hear it in the comment box below.

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