We're dining out for Thanksgiving this year. Seems to be an every-other-year event. It's nice to enjoy the food and the company, but I do miss the leftovers. We bought pared-down versions of our usual Thanksgiving meal to cook next weekend, just to have some turkey, stuffing, and cranberry jelly in the fridge.
Christmas will be different, too. Our daughter and new-ish son-in-law will be joining us three days after Santa's usual visit. You don't know how steeped in traditions your holiday is until you try to negotiate them on an altered timetable. Does Santa still visit on the 25th? Does Santa visit at all? Do we open some of our gifts on the 25th, or all of them later, together? Will the kids want to bake Jesus' birthday cake together--we all know the 25th really isn't his birthday, anyway--or will the youngest fly solo with that tradition again, so Santa has a piece on his usual night?
We're letting our grown-up children answer most of those questions. Our daughter wants her Japanese husband to experience the "Christmas crazy" in our house, as she's come to describe it from afar. I don't know if I can just let the 25th go by without some of that Christmas magic happening; I'd rather celebrate twice. Their father and I haven't talked about that yet.
Yes, the holidays will be different this year. But the best parts remain the same--family, friends, and good food. We are blessed, and grateful, and ready to celebrate together, no matter the location or the date on the calendar.