The Holiday season is an interesting time when it's spent with the in laws. Being part of a long lasting tradition of somebody else besides your family makes you feel even more grateful for the traditions you have but also more opened minded to the interesting traditions that your significant others family shares.
During courtship it is a wonderful time when you are not only trying to figure things out with your better half but also trying to figure it out with her mom and dad. You need to come off as tough enough to hang with the football loving brothers but sweet enough to be able to talk cooking with the mother. You will need to be charming enough to win over the sisters but serious enough so that her dad knows that you take life seriously.
Family traditions are like playing the telephone game. You know the one when everybody is seated in a giant circle and the first person in the circle makes up a message to pass on. He sends it to the person next to him and then that person sends it to the third person in line and so on. Then around the circle the message goes each person telling the message just as they heard it. But by the time it gets to the first person again he realizes how much different the new message is from the original that he had sent. Like the phone game I think of family traditions like this where somebody in the family started something and then it continued on to be something personal for everybody.
The fun really starts though when as a young married couple instead of going over to each others' parents house you decide to start your own family traditions. The melding of both sides of Christmas traditions sometimes gets tricky. Both must compromise but at the same time stand their ground so that can incorporate a piece of what they grew up with.
Traditions are fun, holidays are happiness, families are essential and enjoying them together and at the same time can sometimes be tricky. Both sides must be willing to compromise and enjoy the family time together. It only happens a few times out of the year. So lets remember in the Spirit of giving this Christmas season that giving not only refers to gifts, love and service to others but also giving time to your spAouse to be with his or her family. Sometimes that gift is just as hard to give as the $120 new spatula that she wants because it matches the silverware.