Why is it that some people get so caught up in tradition?
If you ask these people why their Christmas traditions are so important to them, you will often get the same answers: "Because it's tradition," or "Because that's how we have always done it. It wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't do it."
For me, tradition went out the door as soon as I made the decision to be a nurse. Hospitals are a 24-hour business. Shift work and holiday rotations are part of the deal.
It always amazed me when my coworkers would get horribly angry or sad when their turn to work Christmas Eve or Christmas day came around.
For weeks, nurses would practically sell their souls to anyone who would work their holiday shift. Usually, all for the sake of tradition.
Similarly, it has puzzled me when stepmoms seem outraged and surprised every year when the holidays arrive.
Husbands dread it, their ex-wives dust off their war armor for it, and the stepkids anxiously anticipate it; The stepmom drama in the name of her "Christmas traditions."They all know that with the holidays brings the stepmom drama.
What can you do?Develop new traditions that don't depend on specific days or times of the holiday season.
Develop new traditions that don't depend on specific days or times of the holiday season.
For example, if you and your kids have always spent Christmas Eve with your family and baked cookies together, maybe you could alternate that tradition between Christmas eve and Christmas.
The importance of the tradition doesn't rely on the exact day that it's practiced.
The fight to keep that tradition exactly how you have always known it to be could keep you from gaining the precious memories that the tradition was initially developed.
Keep things in perspective by considering the feelings of others and how the relationships that take so long to develop could be affected by hurtful emails based on emotions, mean text messages, or anxiety accompanied with tension and anger.
Just as I had to accept the reality of a nursing career on my future holiday traditions, if you take on the title of stepmom, you have to accept the same reality.
And if you can't accept that reality, don't do it.