#GOALS VS. #REALITY: CHRISTMAS AS NEWLYWEDS

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I am almost at the six month mark of being married to Emeka. Our marriage has been a whirlwind of newness, challenges, and lessons on how to love one another more and more every day. We are soon approaching our very first Christmas together as husband and wife. In my mind prior to marriage, I used to daydream about what it would be like to spend the holidays with my husband. Fast forward to today and being in the thick of it all, I must admit that expectations vs. truth can differ quite a bit. That being said, here are two examples of #GOALS vs. #REALITY for celebrating Christmas as newlyweds...

#1: HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

GOAL: Per my entire life leading up to now, all old holiday festivities shall resume. This includes but is not limited to Mariah Carey's Christmas Pandora station on blast the day after Thanksgiving and rockin' around our decked out Christmas tree with an ornament very carefully chosen and engraved "Our First Christmas." Not to mention the Grinch and hot cocoa on stand by.

REALITY: Just because I come from a background where Christmas is on steroids doesn't mean my husband does. While for some families November means preparing for Thanksgiving, in my home  it meant: Let's start curating our Pandora Christmas station with the latest Pentatonix holiday hits while brainstorming whether the theme of the tree should be 1) A Barneys New York Christmas: Minimalist SIlver + White or 2) A Whoville Extravaganza: All Colors Unite. For Emeka on the other hand, Christmas traditions were more of a suggestion. Christmas entailed nothing more, nothing less than spending quality time with loved ones over a delicious meal and exchanging gifts and stories. Fast forward to both of us approaching the Christmas season together as a new family, and we are quickly learning that part of the joy of marriage means starting a clean slate and creating new traditions together! And for us, that also means incorporating old customs we have grown to love.

#2: CHRISTMAS GIFTS

GOAL: "Santa [Emeka], slip an iPad under the tree for me, I've been an angel all year. And hurry down the chimney tonight! Oh, and if you could fit a puppy into my stocking that would be so great! XOXO!"

REALITY: A wedding for 250 guests ain't cheap, ya'll. And my loving husband was kind enough to do whatever it took to give me the wedding of my dreams! Not only that, but he continues to be gracious and selfless in supporting me while I pursue my dreams of building a business with my blog and working in the nonprofit sector. It is also important to note that being a newlywed comes with plenty of unforeseen expenses, i.e. furnishing a home. While the glamorous Santa Baby idea continues to captivate the desire of many during this time of year, I believe the Grinch said it best: "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, ...perhaps... means a little bit more!" The truth is, the gift is the covenant my husband pledges to me every day he says "I do". The gift is my family and friends that call out of the blue to check on my heart and speak to me in my love language, no matter how far in distance we are from one another. And ultimately, the gift is God loving me so much that he sent his Son in the form of a baby so that I would know everlasting life.  

The goals are pretty, but only in theory. Sure, a picture perfect idea is enticing. But when the reality of life steps in, so often expectations are shattered leaving us confused and frustrated, thereby missing the whole reason for the season in the first place. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6. A King became a baby so that you and I would know love to the fullest and share it with the world. No matter what stage in life you find yourself in, let's collectively lay down our expectations and embrace the truth that the prize of Christmas has already been given to us. Remember that the first Christmas tree was an old rugged cross so that today, the joy of Christmas would not merely exist in holiday traditions and gifts but rather, the salvation in Christ that lives inside you and me.

Wishing you and yours a very, Merry Christmas! 

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Xoxo, Diwa Doll

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Photography: Jamie Wong Photography