My First Adult Christmas

Hello Joylfakes!

Recently it feels like every time I sit down to write, my mind wonders off to something else. Lately, it is been sneaking off to think about the holidays.

My favorite time of year since forever is the holidays. Christmas lights, ornaments, cookies, egg nog, champagne, its the best. Iowa is covered in a beautiful blanket of snow and the world looks like something out of an ABC Family Christmas movie. Its the absolute best.

But this year, I'm having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. It could have to do with multiple factors but I've narrowed it down to 3 possible things. I've been out of school for almost 3 Christmases, I'm (finally) not working in retail, and for the first time ever, I'm an adult and not having Christmas with my family.

The first is a minor thing, mostly just the realization that I've been away from Ames for that long is making me feel old. Facebook likes to remind me how many years it's been since my last AOII Christmas so that doesn't help.

The second, not working in retail at the holidays should be a blessing. I'm done with work by 5 and I have Saturdays and Sundays to actually do fun christmassy things like cutting down the worlds fattest christmas tree, and decorating my house, and going to Chicago for the Cristkindlemarkt (I'm going again this weekend and I literally can't wait for a boot of gluhwein and some roasted almonds). But I'm also missing out on all of the little things that have marked the holidays for me since I was 18. No decorating the store windows, no unpacking ornaments and christmas themed candy plates, no stressed out just feels weird!

Chrsitkindlemarkt with Sara
The third is what I feel is the biggest struggle I'm having. Last year my girlfriend and I spent Christmas with our respective families, but this year, we decided that we wanted to spend the holiday together. So while my family is split between Denver, Minneapolis, and Louisville, I'll be joining them via face time. Instead of heading to my grandparents house in Davenport, I will be heading to northwest Wisconsin to have christmas with my girlfriends family. There are multiple reasons for this, including the fact that my grandparents no longer live in Davenport and if I showed up at their old house no one would know who I am.

I'm especially attached to the traditions of Christmas so the thought of not eating all the same things we eat every year and playing scategories while drinking eggnog by the christmas tree is somewhat unsettling. I knew that this day would come...but every time the thought crossed my mind, I just shoved it way and tried not to think about it.

The good thing is that I won't have to miss out on all of my favorite things. Misha has promised to help me make twice baked potatoes and schnitzel beans so I'll get a little taste of my family favorites which is incredibly sweet. To be honest, I'm pretty excited to partake in their ugly sweater contest (yes I already have one chosen and it has bells on it) and white elephant exchange. It sounds like a lot of fun even if it's going to be very different.

The other thing that is helping me to cope with missing out on my family traditions is that we've started to create our own traditions and no matter where we go to celebrate, we get to do those. So far we've cut down our own tree, been to the Christkindlemarkt once, put up our stockings (including a new one for Izzy!), decorated the rest of the house, and tonight we're going to start on baking all of may family favorite christmas cookies. We will be celebrating just the two of us (stockings and most of our gifts) after we get back from visiting her family just like we did last year and I'm taking comfort in the little traditions we've started for our mini family.

I suppose that I could be reading too much into all of this thought...maybe I'm just having trouble getting in the holiday spirit because this is what Iowa currently looks like....

Whatever it is that's got me struggling to get out of my holiday slump, I hope you're having better luck! What are some of your favorite family traditions?