It was about 9 o’clock one night last week when my husband and I loaded up in our single cab truck and headed out to Home Depot. We decided that it was the perfect night to take on the highly anticipated search for our perfect first Christmas tree.
We had very different expectations for this big event. As soon as we arrived in the garden center, I searched for the signs pointing my way towards the cute little 6 footers. I thought that would be perfect for our small, two-bedroom apartment. But when I turned around to find Jake, he had run straight for the 9 ft. section. I just laughed and told him that there was no way on earth that would even fit through our door! But he was set. He had found the perfect tree. I finally agreed that if that’s what he wanted, then that’s what we would do. And you know what? It turned out to be the perfect pick!
It has been an interesting season going into our first Christmas together. When I dreamed about my marriage, I always thought it would look exactly like it did in my own house growing up. We didn’t have many traditions, but I sure enjoyed the ones we had. But this time around is very different. This time, I’m mixing and mingling with a whole other human with stories and traditions of his own. I was a little anxious about how it may play out, but so far it has been a fun and creative experience.
I have found that expectations are a hard thing. Especially in marriage. Coming into marriage, we had very different ideas of how things would operate. Ideas as silly as where our food should be stored in the kitchen to bigger things like money and marital roles. It has been nearly a year of learning how to find that balance. We have to ask ourselves very often, “Is this a battle worth fighting? And if so, how should we go about it?” Unfortunately, we have yet to perfect the art of compromise but we are many steps ahead of where we were when we said “I do” eleven months ago.
So this year for Christmas, we’ll have an enormous tree. We’ll make Christmas cookies like I did with my mom and sister growing up. We’ll open presents first thing Christmas morning like Jake did throughout his childhood years. And then we’ll do a few new things that we came up with as a team. And I guarantee it’ll be the best Christmas yet.