Christmas was definitely better this year than last. Last year, Ben and I got way too caught up in "tradition." We spent our entire holiday weekend far too concerned about forming our own family traditions since it was our first Christmas as husband and wife. Too much energy was spent creating a "perfect" first Christmas when all we really needed was each other and the Michael Buble Christmas album! Don't get me wrong, Christmas last year was pretty dang awesome, but we decided that our remaining Christmases on Okinawa definitely needed to be more low key. "Going with the flow" became our new motto. We also realized that our traditions as a family would most likely change as we change anyway. They'll come, go, and develop with time - forcing ourselves to abide by certain Christmas traditions we made as a 23 and 25 year old living in Japan was a naïve game plan!
I've always heard that the best ways to survive as a military family are to get involved in the community and to create your own happiness. From experience, this couldn't be more true! As the Marine Corps always says, "Semper Gumby" aka always flexible/stay flexible; things may constantly change (especially for military families) but it's important to adapt and make the best out of any situation. Mine and Ben's first few Christmases as a family might lack any sense of cohesion or tradition, but what they will be remembered for are the great people and unique experiences we only could've had in Okinawa.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
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