Christmas With Our Adult Kids (and other thoughts)

Christmas with our adult kids
Cheers from the Staverts


Christmas with our adult kids is different now. Not bad different, just different. Change is inevitable and as our children get older, they take on new interests and their Christmas wish lists have gotten much smaller. Visits to local, intriguing distilleries, trying new cocktail bars and great restaurants and going to the movies is now the order of the day. They prefer money over gifts. They check their emails and texts. They watch football and play in football fantasy leagues, have a boyfriend, a girlfriend and are quite competent in the kitchen. Times are different, but I like it.

No more assembling toys, taking bites of Christmas cookies and preparing for Santa’s arrival. I made the mistake of listening to a couple of Christmas albums that I used to listen to when they were young. These songs sung by Celine Dion and Harry Connick Jr. caused me to cry remembering those holidays from their childhood. Longing for those times from years ago, yet understanding that they are gone forever.

Where did those years go? I know that we enjoyed every single minute from then until now, yet it somehow seems like it went far too fast. Christmas with our adult kids is the new Christmas. Just wait until they get married and have their own families. That is just around the corner and I need to ease in to that one.

In addition to loving our adult children, I like them tremendously. They are interesting, our conversations are topical and the banter is fun. However, when the son teases the sister too much, then the tempers can flare.

Of course Christmas is truly in our hearts, but my head still longs for the clock to slow down and for them to not live so far away. How easy was it when they lived in our house? They just came downstairs and they were available for hugs. Now I have to wait several months at a time to see their lovely faces in person.

I enjoyed Christmas this year, it was adult, energizing and frankly… pretty darn easy. Although I actually cooked way more than I have in a while. Now that the nest is empty, we go out so much more or just put meals together, a little of this and a little of that. It was fun using our favorite, family recipes for the holidays. Cooking in our temporary and very small apartment in downtown Seattle was certainly different and quite a challenge. I had to laugh at how little available space I had to work with.

Christmas with my adult kids
Cooking Christmas Eve pasta sauce in my very small apartment kitchen.


Before we moved we had a huge island and cupboard full of every kind of casserole dish that I would ever need. This year I borrowed from Alex and we pooled our resources, much like a college student would.

When was the last time you borrowed a pan in order to complete the meal you were making? Seriously, this is sure a paradigm shift. Living this way is temporary, we should be able to move back in to the completed fixer upper in April (only two months later than we hoped).

Christmas with our adult kids
Our Christmas tree last year in our lovely, much larger house just days before we moved to the fixer upper.


In 2015 my life has turned upside down with lots of difficulties and challenges, but knowing that Dad is still so thrilled to have us move near him makes the sacrifice easy.

I love the reconnection with my brothers living so near by and to rekindling old friendships and establishing new ones too in Pasadena.

I look forward to 2016, with exciting plans for Adventures of Empty Nesters, the completion of the house, settling in to Pasadena, staying put for a while. I traveled a lot last year (19 trips plus back and forth from Seattle to Burbank) and really enjoyed it, but I plan to rein it in a bit and maybe travel a little less.

My mom is looking forward to having me back in Pasadena so we can do more mother/daughter things, to just hang out and take walks in the neighborhood. Craig’s travel schedule will most likely be overloaded again this year and that will cause me to want to travel with him. I will choose new cities to go to, more adventures, more tasty food to sample.

I hope you and I will connect more and keep in touch. What you think really matters to me. I love to know that someone is reading this and hopefully enjoying it!

Happy New Year to you and I wish you all the blessings you can handle and then the strength to handle even more.



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9 thoughts on “Christmas With Our Adult Kids (and other thoughts)”

  1. Thanks for sharing your 2015 family xmas. This year my kids gave me the gift of time. We are celebrating xmas on Sunday January 3, after they get back from a 2 week vacation in Thailand. At first I was unhappy that our son and his fiance would be away on the actual day, but it turns out to mean a mush less rushed holiday and plenty of time for shopping during the sales. On the xmas eve we had a delicious lobster dinner with pumpkin mouse (a new recipe I found) with our daughter and the next day after lounging around we went to the movies. It was low key and low stress. Sunday I am planning a nice lunch (salmon fritatta, salad and banana’s foster) and we will leisurely open gifts that have been accumulating under our tree.

    • That sounds like an excellent plan Heidi! Now that the kids are now adults, we have to go with the flow. Your meals sound delicious! Happy New Year and thank you for supporting the blog!

  2. I loved having my girls home although dear Elena only spent four days with us; she spent five days in the Bay Area first (that’s when she saw Nick) and then left for a trip to Israel the day after Xmas (she’s still there till Tuesday). Kat brought her boyfriend which changed the dynamic but in an absolutely good way. We packed in some sightseeing events for him including the theater in downtown LA, a trip to Venice Beach, saw a couple movies together, etc. The two of them took a three day road trip to Ojai/SB/Morro Bay at the end of their 10-day visit which was a wonderful idea and perfectly timed. With my parents living in town and both my sisters and their families visiting, there were still lots of big family gatherings along with smaller, more intimate meals with just our immediate family. And yes, we love having cocktails with our kids–at home and out and about. For the first time ever, Santa did not wrap the stocking stuffers; “he” simply ran out of time and realized it really didn’t matter. Gift-giving patterns are somewhat different now but the spirit of family, fun, love and good food are the same if not better–less kid chaos. Oh, and Jon made THE BEST Christmas Eve dinner ever which centered around Mario Batali’s favorite family pork roast recipe. It was amazing! Happy New Year! Terrific post!

    • Your Christmas/Holiday season sounds truly delightful! Jon’s pork roast sounds divine! I will need to check that out. I too think we are all in a great place and have learned to accommodate the changes in our lives. Happy New Year to you! xoxo Suzanne

  3. It is certainly different with grown children! Our daughter, who only lives 20 minutes away and actually works in the same complex that I do, ‘moved home’ for both Thanksgiving and Christmas!! It was a fun treat. Our son sacrificed his coveted morning sleep and made it over each holiday morning in plenty of time to irritate his sister and carry the cat around like a torpedo. So nice to have everyone home! You have certainly had a tumultuous 2015 – here’s to more sedate adventures in 2016!! Happy New Year!

  4. Suzanne, love your blog! We have a mutual friend in Debbie Angle. Kalie and my daughter Stephanie are friends from SC/Pi Phi. Your comment about listening to Christmas albums brought a tear to my eye – been there! This year my husband and I spent Christmas by ourselves in Cabo. Stephanie went with her boyfriend to his parents’ place in CA, and our younger daughter came here to Minneapolis to dogsit our 12 yr. old dog (“her” dog that we bought when she was 10) since she didn’t want to go to Cabo again. We had all been together for Thanksgiving, but it was our first Christmas without kids since 1988. It was different, but in a good way. And as they say, change is good. Here’s to more empty nester adventures in 2016!

    • Hi Chris! What a wonderful comment, thank you! Wow alone at Christmas, that had to feel weird. I know that change is inevitable, but it still doesn’t make it easy!I hope that you will want to share some of your adventures with us!


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