TRADITIONS

As anyone who knows me at all will tell you, I’m a huge Christmas traditions nut! The Hallmark Channel has nothing on me! I have an ornament from every year of our marriage. I have stockings hung “by the chimney with care.” The Gingerbread House is full of candy. I have the house decorated to the point that Steve has been known to say that “Santa exploded” in our living room. I even have a Santa in the aquarium! See!
My girls have grown up Christmas Caroling, decorating Christmas cookies for Santa, and having Dad read “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve after they put on their new Christmas pajamas. Yes, I tried hard to work in every Christmas activity known to man. I love Christmas movies, Christmas music (and yes, I start listening to it in October – don’t judge me!), and Christmas parties. I’m the one who is so excited on Christmas Eve that I can’t go to sleep – waiting for the girls to FINALLY wake up the next morning, so the “unwrapping” can begin! I LOVE CHRISTMAS! It’s such a special time for me, but I almost let old traditions keep me from enjoying the here and now. I looked up the meaning of the word “tradition”, and it is the handing down of statements, beliefs, customs, legends, etc… by word or deed from one generation to another. And I guess I’ve done it! I loved seeing the decorated Christmas cookies that our grandson made at his house. My daughters are carrying on the same traditions in their own homes. Which is wonderful! Right? It is, but at the same time, it’s hard. For the first time, “Santa” won’t be coming to my house this year. We’re now in the “Grandparent’s Category” where we are just blessed that we’re going to get to see everyone on Christmas Day. Now, there are some advantages – the stockings are already filled – why wait? The presents “just” got wrapped, and that’s okay – there’s no one here to “shake, rattle or roll” them. I’m not spending days, baking up all kinds of goodies because no one will be here to eat on them, and Steve and I definitely don’t need them! I’ll have time to prepare for Christmas Dinner. These are all good things. Yet, I got to feeling a little sorry for myself this morning thinking of all the Christmas traditions that are no longer a part of our lives. Things change. And so, we must also change. It’s hard to let go of the past, but I realize that it does none of us any good to dwell on it. God has been so good to let us live long enough for this “stage” in life to begin. Steve and I are together, and we’re going to be okay. In fact, we’re going to be great! We’ve thought of several “new” traditions we plan to try – just the two of us. The lesson that I’ve learned this year – Don’t let memories of the past keep you from enjoying the “gifts” of the present. God Bless, Courtney

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