I came to a realization about myself this holiday season: I don’t love tradition. It happened on Thanksgiving. I was sitting at the table looking down at my plate of turkey, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, bread, cranberry relish, and mashed potatoes. In that moment, I realized that I could do without all the foods on the plate. Except for the mashed potatoes. Because anybody who knows me knows that the way to my heart is with a well-cooked potato.
Everything was cooked to perfection. Everything was delicious; I just decided in that moment that the traditional holiday meal doesn’t have the same allure as it once had.
I suppose that probably makes me sound like somewhat of a scrooge, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it since. As Jake and I look forward to Holiday seasons to come, I look forward to writing my own traditions. Things our children will remember in the future and tell fondly of as they sit around the table reminiscing. But in my mind’s eye, those traditions look different every year. It’s a Christmas dinner with a big pot of soup one year and eating at a tacky diner the next. It’s a Christmas morning where presents are opened immediately upon waking while the next year we wait until after the enormous breakfast feast. It’s more about family and what each year has brought and less about the things we do just because we’ve always done them.
Jake and I stepped out into the non-traditional this Christmas and ventured to the world of the Bed & Breakfast. We decided to make the most of our last Christmas sans kids, and I’m so happy we did.
We left Christmas Eve and traveled to Plano, IL. We pulled into the Homestead Bed and Breakfast early evening and enjoyed every moment until we checked out the following morning.
Hindsight, I suppose it was risky to choose to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with complete strangers. I suppose we could have chosen a B&B with awkward hosts, but thankfully we were welcomed in like we were old friends. Mary Kay and Chet made Bed and Breakfast believers out of us although I’m not sure we’ll ever stay at another. They set the standard pretty high. They cooked us delicious food, made us feel right at home, and offered us a bed that I think Jake will talk about for all the years to come.
It was non-traditional. It was exactly what we needed. The only thing missing were the mashed potatoes, but luckily my in-laws had left-overs that I have been consuming like ice cream.
As I look forward to Christmases to come, I look forward to the constants: family, laughter, card-playing, and gift exchanges. But I also look forward to the unpredictables. The things that only each year can bring. The things that keep us on our toes and make each holiday season something worth remembering.