Time to celebrate old and new holiday traditions
December is half-way gone already. Wow, how this year flew by quickly. I sometimes can’t believe how time moves. I recall my grandparents commenting how much faster time flies when you’re older, but I never understood until now. Does that mean I’m ‘older?’ Or maybe as you age, you have the gift of hindsight so you can recall so many memories. You learn to cherish people and moments, and you don’t want to forget or lose all that you hold dear.
This time of year always makes me nostalgic for my childhood. I remember holidays filled with many people throughout my parents’ house. Both sides of the family laughed, ate together and shared gifts. I recall driving home from my relatives’ house in Lapeer on Christmas Eve, staring out the car window with my sisters, looking for Rudolph’s red nose. Then there are the memories of picking our Christmas tree, baking and decorating cookies with my mom, making angels in the snow, laying in bed as I wondered what Santa would bring that year.
Perhaps I think more of those days long ago since my dad and grandparents are gone. I miss them all daily and cherish any memories I can hold onto. Or perhaps when you have good memories, you hold onto those a bit stronger than the not so good.
But while I remember the happy memories of my younger years, I also embrace every moment, vacation, holiday and laughs here in the present. And now that I’m married, I’m excited to create more memories with Justin as we build a home together.
Sometimes it’s the quiet moments of sitting together on the couch, Christmas tree lights providing soft shadows, drinking a glass of wine, listening to holiday music, enjoying each other’s company. Other times, it’s the silly stuff, like buying Justin his first Advent calendar this year. He laughed when I showed it to him but it’s been fun opening a new day together.
As I write this, I keep glancing at our beautiful Christmas tree. Every ornament on our tree has a story behind it. There are the red glass bulbs with Polish eagles. The My Little Pony horse and Cabbage Patch Kid doll. The yellow Tonka truck and also the leg lamp from The Christmas Story. Ornaments received in holiday gift exchanges with friends and a few homemade from my nieces. Justin and I have collected an ornament every year we’ve been together – the Starbucks cup, a bottle of white wine and this year a wreath with our names and 2012.
Christmas Day will be at my mom’s, as is the tradition. Her tree holds ornaments with each of our names, including the family pets, and every year we each hang our own. For the past few years, I decorate Christmas cookies with my best friend and her daughter. Last year, Justin and I hosted a holiday dinner and ornament exchange with his friends. I’m excited that we are making it a tradition and getting together again next week.
So traditions and fun times continue to make new memories. I know I won’t ever forget my childhood, and certainly not those who I loved dearly and are no longer here. But I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to feel loved, to laugh often and celebrate new and continued traditions with friends and family. What are your favorite childhood memories or traditions?