Logan and I grew up very differently, with VERY different Christmas traditions. It was no surprise to us, that we had conflicting ideas of what Christmas should look like after we got married.
We got married on Thanksgiving weekend in 2015 and honeymooned through the first week of December. Being away that first week, we did not discuss Christmas plans, so on our way home from Port Everglades, Logan started talking about all the decorating and plans we have to make this coming week. PUMP THOSE BREAKS. No, I don’t want to put up a Christmas tree. No, I don’t have any Christmas decorations. No, I don’t want to go shopping for gifts. No, you will not put an inflatable Santa in front of our apartment. NO, NO, NO. Ladies and gentlemen, yes, this was our first married fight.
Then came the compromise. He could decorate, but it had to be classy. Whites, golds, and reds. No mutlicolored lights. No inflatable santa. I reluctantly went with him to get a Christmas tree and helped decorate it. Then we had a our second fight over candy canes. He wanted to put candy canes on the tree as decorations and that absolutely was not going to happen. I did not give in.
The hardest part of the holiday season is being so far away from my family. With Logan’s family five minutes down the road, it was easy for us to join in whatever they had planned or follow their traditions. That was very emotional for me and something I had a really hard time with. I did not have Christmas traditions I wanted to continue, but I also did not want to jump right in and pick up someone else’s. I wanted to start our own traditions. Again, we compromised. We do a Christmas get together with his parents and siblings, where we exchange gifts and spend the evening together. Not necessarily on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, just any day in December that we are all free. Perfect!
Christmas would be a family holiday that we spend together. That very first Christmas, we decided to forego exchanging gifts and go on a vacation. It was our First Annual Hawley Family Christmas Vacation. We traveled to Saint Augustine, Florida and it was magical. We made some very special memories while we were there and a very special little girl. 😉
Going on year three and the Hawley Family Christmas Vacation is something I look forward to and dream about all year long. To me, it was the sweetest compromise my husband has made. This tradition allows us to do something we love, while giving us the flexibility to enjoy both families, if we choose too. It has taken the stress out of the holiday season, allows us to spend quality time with one another, make lasting memories, and rest our souls before the start of the new year.
As Madison gets older, and hopefully more kids are added to the mix, we plan to continue our tradition in a meaningful way. Instead of gifts, we want to allow our children to help plan our vacation with us. Choosing the place we go and each child choosing a different activity they would like to do. It is my prayer that as they grow up, they look forward to this trip as much as I do and cherish the memories that are to be made.