My husband and I spent exactly three Christmases without our son: the first as a brand-new couple, the second as a newly married couple, and the third while we were expecting our son. I’m pretty sure we spent that first Christmas Day ferrying ourselves around from house to house to see family, but I know for a fact that we spent the second, and all subsequent Christmas Days, entirely alone.
I don’t know exactly how the conversation got started, but one day we both realized that we really just wanted Christmas Day to be a day for our family, period. And by family, I mean our little nuclear family that all lives in the same walls together 24/7. No in-laws, no parents, no siblings, none of it.
And it turns out that this has been the best decision we could have made. And while I thought we would be met with a lot of pushback from our extended family, they have largely accepted our choice and even understand it.
When we told everyone what we planned to do, they were naturally curious: Isn’t the point of Christmas Day to be with those you love? And we do love our family, so why not spend it with … everyone? We don’t have a specific reason for eschewing the idea of being surrounded by tons of people on the day of Christmas; it’s just what feels good to us.
Choosing to put our family first on Christmas Day has also led to a lot of sweet traditions that I hold near and dear. While we do often travel to the homes of our parents and in-laws the days before and after Christmas, here’s how our typical nuclear family Christmas celebration goes.