Our family is frighteningly small. I mean tiny…super tiny.
My parents were
never particularly close to their siblings, so we were never close to our
cousins. When we moved to California what little contact we had was gone. Our
Aunts and Uncles came out every once in awhile, but we pretty much were on our
When we moved to Texas, our tiny family became even more isolated. Mom, Dad,
Mair, Stew and Bill in LA, me, Corey, the kids and Corey’s parents with us in
TX. To overcome the divide, Christmas became opulent. We showed our love for
each other and how much we missed each other through gifts.
Fast forward through the years, a move to Seattle, the loss of all of the
elders of the family, my brother wandering off into his alcoholism…and we became
even more compact.
Toss a move to Hong Kong into the mix and now Christmas became exponentially
large. The living room floor groaned under the weight of gifts…it took hours to
open. Each person opened one gift at a time…we all paid attention, reveling in
our togetherness that shortly would end.
SO…after Christmas 2014, after Merry Mosas were consumed, after
breakfast was served, and all the wrapping paper tossed...we looked around...loved everything we saw...but my sister had an idea.
How about instead of the mounds and mounds of gifts...we do experiences. Change it up.
How about Christmas on Maui? Corey and I would take our condo for December...Mair would get the condo next door...and Kari and Kirk could share a unit in the complex.
Kirk and Skyler decided to go to Los Angeles to be with her family...hard but acceptable since, well...Skyler HAS family. And yes....she is allowed to see them at Christmas sine she'd been away for a few years.
Christmas 2015 WAS a change! We decided it would be the trip and stockings only.
Corey had a tough time with it...called it "Scrooge Christmas" and bent the rules by buying a nice gift for every stocking.
While it WAS a new way to celebrate....we still had Maui err Merry Mosas...we just had them with 75 degree tropical breezes and a stint by the pool before dinner was cooked.
Fast forward one year...and hear we go. All things have changed. AGAIN. Corey and I are living on Maui now...the kids have even less vacation...and Corey and I are both working, in retail, so long leisurely holidays have ended . It't the busiest two weeks of the year...too tough to be gone.
This year we are continuing with the "scrooge" Christmas if you really want to still say that. (It didn't feel scroogy to me last year!).
This year we agreed to exchange names. We all joined a website www.drawnames.com The Website takes care of pulling names for Secret Santa. The spend limit is $100.00 (not including shipping).
We will all meet in Los Angeles at my sister's house. We won't see each other for very long, but I"m happy we will all be together again.
Mary Ann has even devised a way to keep the stockings secret until Christmas Day! We are all in to this!
I gotta tell ya. WHAT A RELIEF. We focus our efforts on one person...ridiculous amounts of money are not being spent...and we get to see and enjoy each other.
Merry Mosas will still be had...good food will still be had. Togetherness will still be had. All of this without the running and dashing and spending to spend.
I'm looking forward to it.
Not sure this will be how we do Christmas forever...but we learned last year changing traditions is NOT terrible. We even liked it....just a little bit.