This will be our third married Christmas. The past two years I’ve felt the pressure to come up with definitive holiday traditions for our married life. Our holiday rhythm of celebrations with both our families is starting to feel familiar, and we have a loose idea of what to expect now. Our own celebration is a different story. Everywhere I turned (ahem, Pinterest) I felt like everyone had it together with meaningful traditions, beautiful decorations, and sweet memories being made. And it seemed like we didn’t. I struggled with this. I felt like we were missing out on beautiful memories and deeply spiritually bonding moments as a couple. It felt like failure, like we should maybe have it all together because someday we’ll have kids and there should be a rich heritage of tradition for them to come into and experience.
It turns out that all the pressure I’d been putting on us hindered the very things I wanted. Micah is typically even-keeled. He didn’t have the same expectations for the holidays and didn’t prioritize it like I did. The effort I was putting into finding traditions that would be meaningful for us ended up stressing both of us out.
This year, I’m learning that the kind of beautiful traditions I’ve been wanting come from real life. They stem from living a good story, and naturally progress from an often spontaneous decision into a solid, anticipated rhythm. They bring joy and foster memories. They’re flexible and don’t need to be forced to fit the way we live. I’m learning that we have the freedom to take our time to find what works for us. This is part of the joy in this time in our lives, these early years of marriage. I think this applies to us all, no matter where we are or what we’ve been doing or for how long. There’s always time to step back and focus on what matters most.
This year, I’m focusing on letting life happen. I’m letting go, as the song goes. I’ll be soaking in the sweetness of this Advent season and pressing into Jesus, trusting that His light will shine no matter how we celebrate together.
Author: Abi Losli
The credit for the image goes to Lindsay Sherbondy, and the link is: http://lindsayletters.com/collections/christmas-holiday-art-prints/products/comfort-joy-print#img