Every family has holiday traditions that have been created through the years. Our family is no different, except our traditions aren’t quite “traditional.” In fact, because of Hubby living 1200 miles away, I often celebrate the holidays, and Christmas in particular, with my family early or even late. Santa and his reindeer make an early stop just for us.
I am incredibly fortunate to be stationed within an hour of my parents. In fact, when we received orders in 2009, we first were going to be stationed outside Wichita, KS. While potentially living only 8 hours away from family was better than the 2 days’ drive we previously were at, it wasn’t ideal. We lucked out and my Hubby’s orders were changed to station us at Buckley AFB (near Denver). For the past 6 years, I’ve been able to enjoy every holiday with my parents, even if it wasn’t on the correct day. Friday for Thanksgiving, the 18th for Christmas – you get the picture!
Last year, my family (parents, Mini Me and I) celebrated early so that Mini Me and I could fly out to California before the 25th. What I really enjoyed was how we still recreated Christmas morning and had stockings, cinnamon rolls and presents – all the same traditions I enjoyed when I was young, but just “early.”
My parents still have the same fake tree that I had growing up, complete with multi-colored lights and ornaments collected along the way. It even comes with a furry accessory.
OK, so maybe she’s terrorizing the tree, but isn’t that what makes Christmas fun?
But it wouldn’t be Christmas without having the full family participating in the festivities, including my Hubby. What makes this truly a non-traditional way to celebrate the holiday, is Hubby calling in from Google Hangouts, so he could enjoy nearly two hours of opening gifts with all the Ooos and Ahhs.
In the corner of the video is my dad holding up a really big gift that Hubby bought him last year.
We even ship out his presents early so he can open his with us. I get to open the couples gifts, but Hubby is right there commenting on everything.
Even our animals get in on the fun, surveying the destruction.
What I enjoy the most about the holidays is spending time with my family. Even though Hubby is living 1200 miles away, we are able to enjoy the day with him thanks to the wonders of technology. I wish I could say last year was our first time we used video technology to enjoy Christmas, but it wasn’t. Even 9 years ago, we were logging into Skype to share the day with Hubby stationed halfway around the world.
Modern military families often dread celebrating holidays without their service member. But through the joys of technology and a little bit of flexibility in schedule, it can still be just as fun as having them with you.
How do YOU celebrate the holidays? What are some of your family traditions that you have carried on? Are you more traditional or non-traditional (like us)? Leave a comment below and share Holidays Your Way.
Afterwards, visit these other great bloggers who are also sharing their holiday traditions today.