- Family- I’ve always spent Christmas surrounded by family.
- Presents- I love getting presents, but I have always especially loved giving presents-not the spending money part, that part stresses me out- but I love selecting a gift that I think shows that person that I care, or how funny I am, or how well I know them (still about me, but you benefit too).
- Food- Christmas is like Thanksgiving the Sequel. Give me all the food.
- Multiple pit stops- I think one year, I visited 5 different houses on Christmas. Last year was 3. I’m lucky to have so many people inviting me over, or coming to my house to eat some grub.
- Decorate- Who doesn’t love some Christmas Decor? Besides my husband – he doesn’t dislike it, he just doesn’t get it – But he’s wrong. Christmas decor is AMAZING! And my Halls are Decked!
This would be my list on how I spend Christmas if I were to write it last year. This year looked different. Since my husband commissioned into the Navy in September (more on that in a later post), he received orders to report to Pensacola, FL for flight school in December. The best part of that was I got to spend Thanksgiving and my birthday with family and friends before leaving the only state I’ve called home and moving over 1000 miles away. The downside is we would be missing Christmas.
So with only a few weeks to get settled into a new home and a new state before Christmas day, I did a few things the same and a few things differently to keep up with the Christmas cheer. Here is my list and tips on making it through Christmas as a new military family:
- Decorate- I unpacked the house and decorated for Christmas the first week of moving in. Do I still have unpacked boxes? Yes. Anyone who has moved knows-there’s always something that goes unpacked. Fuck that box. Clearly it’s not important. Can we get rid of it? No. This was so important though and I didn’t even do it with the intention of the calm and homeyness it brought me. Homeyness? that’s a word right? Sure. But it did. And I think it helped the cats adjust too. Which is really what makes it a golden tip.
- Explore- Like I said, the first week I unpacked -mostly- and decorated, and then I swiftly got bored. But then I realized I was in a completely new place with new and undiscovered things. I wanted to wait and experience it all with the husband, but he had shit to do (or so he claimed), so I set out to familiarize myself, find some interesting places, and not have to use GPS to get every-damn-where.
- Cook for two- Have I mentioned that I love food? I don’t think I have. But I do. I love to cook it too. So even though it’s just the two of us, I decided at the last minute I wanted a meal that would bring home to Florida. Ham. Mashed Potatoes. Gravy. Macaroni and cheese. Sweet Potatoes. Green beans. Corn pudding. All made by yours truly. And I bought these amazing little cheesecakes from a local cheesecake shop, Chrisoula’s Cheesecake Shoppe, to round out the menu. And egg nog, I love me some egg nog- unlike the husband, one of the many things he’s wrong about-like home decor. This menu was NOT weight watchers approved. And even though I reduced drastically the amount of food, we still had leftovers for days. Which made it the gift that kept giving.
- New traditions- New home. New state. Why not start a new tradition? So we did. I decided we would begin our celebration on Christmas Eve so we could spend Christmas Day relaxing. So Christmas Eve we went to brunch at this great place I had been dying to try, The Ruby Slipper, came home to cook and enjoy our ultra feast (The Office fans know what I’m talking about), and marathon watch Star Wars. I’ve never seen them before and I was tired of getting this look: Christmas day was all about relaxation, taking advantage of the beautiful weather outside and catching up with family. We had intentions of going to the movies (I heard that’s a thing) but the relaxation took too much out of us.
- Facetime- Technology is awesome. Even from over 1000 miles away from friends and family, we still got to say hello and see their faces. We were able to FaceTime with my best friend’s family, my family, and the husband’s family on Christmas Day. Was it the same as being there? Hell no. But it was still super amazing.
Bonus Tip: Have a drink- relax, don’t stress, kumbayah and all that. Seriously though.
The Holidays may never be the same again, but I’m a firm believer that life is what you make it. And we made it pretty damn good.
What are some of your Christmas traditions? Feel free to share in the comments, I need ideas for next year!