On Being a Stickler For Tradition and Not Enjoying (But Trying to) Change


I am a terribly unorganised person. My bedroom is a mess, my bank statements are in no order whatsoever, and I am frequently losing things at the bottom of my handbag. Admittedly, I was a lot worse when I was younger but while I attempt organisation using planners, diaries and lists, it doesn’t always work. However, despite my messy life, I enjoy routine, particularly if it is imposed upon me, be it in the form of a study timetable or a 9-5 job (probably because my time management is appalling – it’s for this reason that mum thinks I will stay in education whether as a teacher or a student for the rest of my life).

Because of my appreciation for routine, I am not a person that deals with change very well, let alone embraces it. I like knowing what is going to happen at Christmas, and for this reason (and others) I love our family Christmases. I always know that we’ll be at our friend’s house on Christmas Eve morning and at our house in the evening  having a ‘carpet picnic’, Christmas Day will be spent at home opening stockings then having breakfast and then exchanging presents, and Boxing Day will be at my grandparents’ house. Following the traditions is something that makes me really happy because I love them all, and Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them.

Much as with the gifts we give and receive, Christmases change as you become older. For me, Christmas started to change when my mum became a nurse. This meant she would always do a shift on the 24th, 25th or 26th, taking her out of most of the day and missing the activities planned. To combat this, we started to reorganise our Christmas, opening gifts on Christmas Day evening instead of first thing in the morning, visiting family during the day (when they would normally come to us) or going for a walk or doing other activities with dad while we waited for her to finish work. It was a little disruptive, but in the end everything happened ‘as it should’ (read: as I wanted it to).

This year, I’m faced with more disruption. My brother and sister both have partners in the UK with whom they’re going to be spending Boxing Day. This means that either they won’t be at our Boxing Day dinner (worst case scenario) or we will rearrange our dinner for another day – something that won’t be such an issue considering we have done this before when my aunt’s horse had a surprise foal! (Don’t ask me how a pregnant horse can be a surprise, but my aunt woke up one morning and lo and behold there were two horses in the stall where there was only one the night before!) It’s silly, but it would really bother me having my siblings absent at our Boxing Day dinner because it’s something that I’ve always known, and is one of my favourite parts of Christmas.

Not dealing with change very well is not a particularly helpful personality trait, and it’s something I’ve been trying to work on. It doesn’t help that this Christmas is particularly important to me and so I’ve been a little more bothered by the changes this year that I would have been otherwise! But I’m trying my hardest to let go of my intrinsic need for routine and tradition, and to let this year’s different Christmas act as a segue into a new, uncertain part of life with new, exciting, unknown Christmases.

How have your Christmases changed across the years?

Read the rest of my Blogmas 2016 posts here!

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