Christmas time is a wonderful time.  It has been my favorite time of year as long as I can remember.  I love it all – the decorating of the house, baking, spending time with family, shopping for gifts and carefully wrapping them with love.  I learned how to make bows from my mom and I love doing it.  I have used the same ornaments that were on my tree as a young girl – ornaments that my grandmother handmade.  Traditions – that’s where it’s at!

The last 2 Christmases have begun to change however.  I have lost both my parents now (my dad passed away the year before on Christmas Day).  I have married and moved to  another city.  My sister has married and bought a winter home in Colorado.  I got to see her last year after Christmas.  This year I won’t see her at all.  Our “traditional” Christmas Eve celebration is gone.  Our “traditional” Christmas Day celebration is gone.  As a matter of fact, my husband and I will be alone this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Wow, how things change.  It’s been a VERY hard transition for me this year.  I’ve missed my Mother and Father tremendously this year.

Now, I realize that it is my turn to make traditions.  I feel  a little lost.  I’ve had one idea for the last 2 years that hasn’t happened yet because we are all too busy.  I think there may be something wrong with that.  I find myself searching my heart to decide what REALLY matters to me and my family.  How can I create a spirit of Christmas love to my family wherever they are, whether I actually see them during Christmas or not.  I know it isn’t in the gifts.  As a matter of fact, I’m considering not doing gifts for Christmas anymore.  Instead, whoever is with my during Christmas going to a soup kitchen and serving Christmas dinner or visiting a nursing home and bringing cheer to someone whose family isn’t around.

In the meantime, I am learning new lessons about expressing love to my friends and family and remembering and honoring the traditions of the past to the best of my ability.  And, then I will pass that ability onto my daughter.

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