Growing up, my family had a fairly predictable Christmas. If we didn’t go to Michigan to visit family one year, we travelled to Texas to visit my grandparents. We’d celebrate Christmas a few days early on those years we travelled, and there were also the odd years that we spent the holiday at home. And (apparently) as per my request, we’d have lasagne for Christmas.

When Leon and I got married, we blended our Christmas traditions together and made some of our own. I’ve noticed over the past 4 years that we celebrate Christmas differently every year. Perhaps it’s just part of missionary life. I’m a lover of routine, so I find it hard not knowing how we’ll celebrate Christmas every year. God has taught me a couple of things through our four Christmases as a family.

When Every Christmas is Different

Find a few family traditions to balance out the lack of consistency.

I’ve also found that the longer we’re married the easier having a different Christmas is because we have a few traditions now. We had donuts for breakfast on Christmas day. I went through Truth in the Tinsel with Asher for the second time. We celebrated Christmas over FaceTime with Leon’s family (we also got to do this with my family this year).

Invite others around.

Leon is really good at making certain no one is forgotten at Christmas. There is usually one or two people we know who may not have anywhere to go at Christmas so we invite them around to celebrate with us.

Just enjoy Christmas with those around you.

What’s challenging is knowing with whom we’ll celebrate Christmas—We don’t have family nearby, and a number of our friends are usually away for the holiday. Every year we’ve celebrated Christmas with someone else. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s just different. This year we celebrated with a friend of ours who has become a surrogate auntie to Asher and Eva Joy. Again, it’s different just like the 3 years prior, but it was enjoyable because it was probably one of the most relaxing Christmases we’ve had.

Now that I’ve shared those thoughts, here’s some photos from our Christmas celebration!

When Christmas is Different 1

When Christmas is Different 2

When Christmas is Different 3

When Christmas is Different 4