Are holidays losing their magic with families spread out nowadays?

Regardless of whether you celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, you likely have some occasions toget together with family throughout the year.

I was reminiscing today about childhood gatherings at my grandmother’s house with aunts, uncles and countless cousins to play with around this time of year. Now I spend holidays with my tiny family unit of 4.

I’ve never cooked a turkey. We skipped Christmas trees for the first few years we were married, too.

Growing up, I lived near my dad’s family in Nova Scotia, with my mom’s family in Boston. Despite the distance, we spent plenty of special occasions with each side of the family. It was something to look forward to, a chance to see all the people we don’t necessarily spend time with everyday yet we know are still special in our little world.

Aunt Annie always made tiny chicken sandwiches and sugar cookies. My dad’s mom made lobster rolls. At my mom’s mother’s house, we ate at a huge, long table with every sort of chair gathered from around the house so the massive number of people could join in.

Now I’m feeling a bit blue that my kids will probably never have that boisterous, festive get-together with family for the holidays.

My husband and I live far from both sets of parents. Which means our kids rarely get to see their grandparents. (See our adventures on our only trip so far to India, when I managed to get myself kicked out of a first-class lounge bathroom.)

My parents in Canada are divorced, so that side of the family is even further dispersed, and we visit each separately. My generation of aunts, uncles and cousins all live in different corners of the world.

Even if we could manage to get a few relatives together, I think it would take on a very different feeling from the bedlam of my childhood holiday get-togethers.

So, I’m wondering what to do now to make the holidays special to our children as they grow up… They just don’t feel so magical to me anymore.

How about you? Are you still able to celebrate holidays with a big family crowd?

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Comments (3)

  1. Leslie Guenther

    I really work hard to have my family together for holidays. Even though I do not like most of them. My husband is military and honestly the holidays are the only traditions I really try to keep. Even if that means like this year we celebrated Christmas over a month early because my husband’s deployment schedule. We not only got dressed in Christmas clothes for church we also had the family do so. We set up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving and we played Christmas music all day. Traditions are something I miss most about being a child and I want those same memories for my children. Even while living over seas without family I tried to keep all traditions close to the same. It is hard and I mean hard but I hope my kids will look back and love how much work and love went into it all and smile.

    • Lisa

      Leslie, I’m sure you’re creating wonderful memories for your kids! I wish I had your motivation and energy. But our kids make it all worth it, don’t they?

  2. Jessica Beard

    I am very fortunate to have my parents right down the street from me. We always get to celebrate with them. My in-laws only live a couple hours away, so we have been able to start new traditions with them also. I love the fact that my little guy has a lot of family around him. I also feel it is important to start new traditions with him in our immediate family.

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