When I think of traditions, I think of all the great stuff my parents made happen when my three brothers and I lived at home. Most of them revolved around Catholic holidays or our German heritage: the Easter bunny hiding our Easter baskets around the house and we run and find them; hanging the pickle in the Christmas Tree, or filling our shoes with candy on Christmas Eve.
You can probably tell from the title where I’m going with this. When you don’t have kids, how do you celebrate? Who gets candy in their shoe? I imagine it would be weird if JHubbs just woke up one day and I had planned a day of exciting games for him (granted, he would love it, but it would definitely be weird). And does a little extra candy really make a holiday more exciting when you’ve got two adults with stressful jobs?
Here are some things we are planning to establish as holiday traditions for ourselves, pre-kids, that might end up running higher tabs than when we’re home-bound with babies:
A Very Tiny Christmas
This tradition began with a horrible start. Just before last Christmas, I reached into the trash can and was stabbed by a runaway guitar string. Within a few hours my hand ached as if I had pulled a muscle, and before I knew it my hand had puffed up and was burning.
After days and days of painkillers and anti-biotics, I was eventually admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics and a CT scan to look for metal pieces.
The energy (and money) that went into this left us completely drained by the time holiday festivities came around. We had every reason to stay local, see a movie, eat some Thai for dinner, and just be together, quietly appreciating not being in a hospital.
I can’t say we’ll always turn down family plans, but for the forseeable future we had a great experience building a family memory with just the two of us (three if you count Miss Kyle the cat!).
|Not sure it gets cuter than this….|
Approximate cost: $100 when you factor in eating out and possibly extra presents to fill out the under-the-tree space. But then you’re saving on gas and presents (possibly) for others, so it likely evens out.
JHubb’s Birthday Trip
JHubbs and I both began our careers as teachers, so we will always associate the summertime with being on vacation (much to the chagrin of my current workload). Since his birthday also falls over the summer, we’ve taken to using that as an excuse to budget in some time at the beach.
One year we went to Maryland, another to Virginia Beach. This year it has been delayed, but due to some generous friends and JHubbs booking a few races in October (The Crawling Crab Half and The Wicked 10K), we will be hitting Virginia Beach, Virginia and Carolla, North Carolina.
|That’s JHubbs second in line and me in the rear… before we were dating!|
Approximate cost: $400-500 after hotel, gas, and eating expenses. Then some awesome host/hostess gifts! (Which reminds me — does anyone know of a good hotel brand or website that can get us some discounts? We don’t want to get a special credit card, but it would be nice to be accruing some loyalty points or something!).
Traditions I would like to start:
- Develop a relationship with a city. Something like, “January in Savannah, GA,” or “Summer in Boston,” depending on our schedules. It would be awesome to have some vacation stability and to make friends in a new city. Approximate cost: It would be pricey depending on which Coast we fall in love with (I would kill to spend more time in California) but if we kept it within driving distance and worked on building relationships, I think this could be a reasonably priced tradition.
- Establish holiday meals. Right now, my parent’s run the show when it comes to delicious seasonal meals with tons of friends. I’d love to start something similar with our friends to keep the tradition of fellowship going in our generation. It’s definitely harder, nowadays, with so many people used to giving the “soft RSVP” and not making social events a priority. We are certainly guilty of that ourselves, so that sounds like a good monthly goal to work on! Approximate cost: This would be an investment, but there are tons of ideas out there for meals to cook on the cheap and everyone loves a potluck, right?
- Daily meals at the table. JHubbs and I have a few vices, and one of them that we both embrace is watching TV while we eat. We both want that to change after we have kids, but…. the allure of Dawson’s Creek is far too strong!
- Yearly photo albums. I am stealing this idea straight from Young House Love and the blog post I mentioned above on The Shabby Nest. I am saving up photos of our first year of marriage and I plan to invest in yearly photo albums. Can’t wait!