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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Adventures in Traditions ~ Susan's Thanksmas

Today's tradition is from Susan
Susan is a farmer's daughter turned farm wife. 
Her blog is so bright and cheery, filled with recipes, accounts of farm life, and farm faith.
I am always encouraged when I read her blog. 

Thank you Veronica from Adventures of D and V for asking me to write a post about our holiday traditions. I am excited to participate and hope you and your honey are having a great little vacation!


You would never know it from Pinterest or from most blogs, but we all know the holidays can be VERY stressful, and sometimes, you just can't wait for them to be over so life can get back to normal. Can I hear an "Amen"?

Decorating. Cooking. Christmas programs. Parties. Parties. Parties. Or wondering why no one is having parties. Family gatherings. Gifts. Unrealistic expectations.

We all have an idea about how we want our Christmas traditions to go, but sometimes we just can't get other people to cooperate in our dream holiday. You may feel like your own desires get lost in the gift wrap and tinsel. Or, maybe you are that person who insists on her own way and makes other people miserable. I've been both.

I'm one of 3 daughters. I have seen over and over how the wife usually has the power when it comes to the family social calendar. I've even heard women say, " I told my mother-in-law I would never be away from my parents at Christmas."

I'm embarrassed to admit for the first years of our marriage, I squeezed in my husband's family during holiday time, but felt that the real celebration was with my family. We would rush away from my in-law's, not spending an equal amount of time with both.

My view of the holidays changed once my 3 sons were born. I realized then, that one day I was going to be the mother-in-law. It broke my heart in advance (I'm a worrier like that, projecting into the future-it can be a curse and I don't recommend it!) to think I might have a daughter-in-law or daughters-in-law who might want to grab my sons and their future kiddos to hurry away from my home.

So, I decided to put on my big girl pants and get a grip. I began to see the holidays through less selfish eyes. I realized that I was teaching my sons how their wives should treat their mother-in-law (Me)  by how I was treating mine.

I began to be very intentional about my relationship with my husband's mother and the rest of his family, and it made a huge difference. I love my husband's siblings and their kids like my own now. They are MY FAMILY, too.

A few years ago, we started celebrating "Thanksmas" on this side of the family. The party is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving and everyone tries hard to come because it is sooo fun.

And crowded.

And loud.

We celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional turkey dinner at noon and then in the middle of the afternoon, the Christmas tree comes out and we celebrate Christmas! It was just too much to ask all 50+ to gather twice in a month.

This year will be bittersweet because Brad's mom is moving away from the farm a few days later and into a great little house just down the road from us. We are all happy for her and it is the right decision, but Thanksmas will be a happy/sad occasion for all of us, and probably Mary, most of all.

I guess my point in all of this, girls, is to remind us that Christmas traditions are fun and special, but the real goodness comes from the people you love- no matter when you celebrate or how you go about it.

But, you already knew that, didn't you?


What a fun idea to combined the best of both holidays so everyone can be together! If you would like to share a family tradition, you will get your chance on Friday, December 13th! Come on back here for the Adventures in Tradition Link Party! I am so excited for you to meet Rebecca from Knit By God's Hands tomorrow. She is up next and she has 10 Christmas traditions to share! 


  1. Thank you again for the opportunity to post on your blog! Enjoy your time away from the gloomy, foggy days we have been having, and come back refreshed and ready for the holidays!

  2. Hi Susan! I can really relate to your post. We visited my in-laws every Sunday for dinner. But the holidays were usually spent with my family. It's really not until I became a grandma myself that I see how that must have hurt a little.
    They never said a word, and we would celebrate the Sunday before or after the holiday. I'm sure they would have appreciated an 'on the day' experience. I'm really happy you came to an understanding of this before you become a Grandma :)

    Happy St. Nicholas Day!