Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Today is one of my favorite days to celebrate and be with family. I love the traditions my parents have created. Traditions not only give us something to look forward to, they help us to feel special as a family, and give us something to pass on to our own families. A few of my favorite traditions include our homemade cheese fondue on Christmas Eve, singing together and reading verses about Jesus on Christmas morning, the large brunch feast, watching Willie Wonka and stuffing ourselves with chocolate in the afternoon, playing games and wishing I could just win them all, and enjoying my mom’s delicious baked chicken followed by coconut pie in the evening.
Leading up to Christmas, my mom always decorates the house meticulously—from the Christmas towels to the candles, the house is transformed into a magical wonderland. Growing up I always looked forward to the day the Christmas boxes would come down from the attic.
Decorating the tree is another tradition we grew up enjoying. We would all go together to scour the lot for the perfect tree. We would come home, set up and decorate the tree together as we sipped on tasty beverages like hot chocolate and eggnog. My parents would let us (kids) decorate and place ornaments where we saw the perfect space. My mom might have gone behind us later to fix some, but I don’t remember that. I loved decorating and all the beautiful, fun and unique ornaments we used on the tree.
I carry these traditions with me and into my life now. I hope they will carry on for generations. I decorate my apartment (although I must admit it’s rather minimal this year). I always get a tree and adorn it with unique and beautiful ornaments. Whether made by me, made by others or received as gifts, I cherish these pieces that remind me of people, places and events. They hold important and precious memories for me.
I know that this time of year is not joyful for everyone. For many, they have lost family members, are in a new city alone or are unable to celebrate for health, financial or other reasons. If you are one of those people, my heart goes out to you. I am thinking of you today—some of you I know personally and some I do not. For any of you that have lost someone important to you or this time of year reminds you of the hole in your heart, I hope you will be able to carry on a tradition in honor of that person.
My hope is that all of you may be blessed and inspired. As we approach a new year, may we all be more thankful, more caring and more loving. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!