Here we are swiftly heading toward Hanukkah and Christmas. I don’t get as caught up in the holiday celebrations so much lately. Why is that? I think my way of wanting to celebrate has changed. I realize that I celebrated the holidays for my kids when they were living at home. I still like to make Thanksgiving. I really like Thanksgiving. I think it engenders feelings of family warmth and togetherness for me more than the other holidays.
Now it is just me and my husband here in the house. The empty nest. Both of our kids are adults and making their own lives. We will be seeing them and spending time with them which is very nice. They both have their own ways of celebrating with their partners.
I don’t feel like decorating the house. It seems like house decorating could be rated on a scale. Some people really go all out and have their yards and houses covered with decorations and lights. I imagine the interior of their houses might look like a holiday craft magazine layout. Then on the other end of the scale is me. No outside lights or decorations and nothing on the inside of the house as of now. I noticed there are other neighbors who do not put up lights outside as well. I wonder if it has to do with religious differences.
My husband did not grow up with Christmas celebrations in his home or lights outside so he does not care and does not miss anything if I choose not to decorate. My son and daughter-in-law do have a Christmas tree and my daughter usually doesn’t for environmental reasons. We all do exchange small gifts.
I don’t feel like making anything for Hanukkah either. We will probably light the menorah. We usually go to my son’s or to one of my sister-in-laws for Hanukkah gatherings.
My grinchy-ness could be that I don’t feel the need to decorate my house and make so many preparations in the past few years because my family has grown up. Now I can take a break and enjoy being the guest at their houses.
I know I am fortunate that my kids are not too far away. My son lives nearby and my daughter is in the same state. We will be seeing both of them over the holidays. There are people who do not have families or their kids close by and that has got to be hard for them or they could be estranged.
If you have an empty nest it may be that the holiday celebrations have shifted to your kids homes as well. Or if your kids are too far away how have you decided to celebrate the holidays?