It's taken a few days for me to process the recent development in my adulthood. I had to split holidays for the first time ever for Thanksgiving, and I wasn't too sure how I felt about it. And then Geo and I decorated our Christmas tree together and it got a bit clearer for me.
The thing is, I don't have my childhood ornaments with me. I like keeping them where they grew up...on my parent's tree. They nestle in there with the billions of other ornaments for my sisters and brothers and they just look...right, you know? But Geo's mom sent some of his childhood ornaments back here and now we have a tree full of dozens of horse ornaments (he gets one for every Christmas). It was weird.
But then I got to pump tinsel and gold ribbon and lights all over the tree like it was Lady Gaga in a Mardi Gras parade. Geo didn't love it, but I LOVED it. (I even broke my mom's cardinal tinsel rule of only putting three or four strands on a branch...I straight up DROWNED our tree in tinsel by the handful. REBELLION!) But when all was said and done, his ornaments and my tacky drag-queen taste went perfectly together.
So yeah, the tree decorating experience made it a little easier to cope with having to spend Thanksgiving Day away from my family. We went and spent it with Geo's parents, siblings and his sister-in-law's family instead. I love them all, but I couldn't help but wonder what it was like back at base. Like, is my grandma making her gravy yet? Has anyone told my mom to stop freaking out about seating yet? Did the kids at the kids table take loads of my beloved stuffing and then not eat it? Has my brother taken a nap on the floor in the middle of the main room already? Could all of this still happen without me there?
Now, this is not to say I didn't have fun. Thanksgiving with Geo's family was wonderful and relaxing, and because it would have been rude for me to saunter into the guest room and take a quick 2-hour nap like I might have at home, I didn't miss a thing. It was lovely. Different, but lovely.
But I couldn't help but think about how this would all play out in the future. I don't want to split holidays. I want to spend each and every one with MY family because MY family has the best holidays ever. There are traditions to observe, people, and no one else does those traditions the same as MY family. So, I don't want it to change.
Okay, so it was rough for me this year. Geo and I have always gone our separate ways on holidays. He goes and does his relaxing thing with his family and I submerse myself in joyful and unrelenting noise and chaos at mine. It's always worked just fine.
Ugh, and then it started to make sense. I say "Ugh" because it was such a cheesy and cliche realization. We put our respective crap on one tree for the first time, and it all came together. It didn't look like his tree or my tree, it looked like our tree. And it wasn't half-bad. It was the start of our own traditions, and it was a horribly mature and wonderful thing to realize.
So splitting Thanksgiving was much better than I thought. I can see how this will work in the future.
Except on Christmas. I may have changed my last name, but I will NEVER give up Christmas with my family. NEVER. (You hear that, Geo?)