Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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AL'S GOT THE FLU.. LOIS HAS THE PEN!
What should we chat about? How about traditions? Life changes so very fast and I reflect back on my own parents quite frequently wondering if they felt what I’m feeling.
Up until 2015, the tradition for the holidays were as such: Christmas Eve was our evening of friends and family, hosted by me. These are indeed some of my favourite holiday memories, spent with people that I hold dear in my heart. I hosted Christmas morning, because Santa seemed to always come somewhere between sleep time and morning. Ironically the rule in my house is simple; if you don’t believe, you don’t receive. After gifts, and likely a breakfast consisting of Kinder Surprises and turtles, meal prep would start and we all gathered in my small kitchen once again, tripping over each other to enjoy the labour of my love. I would be bloody exhausted but everyone seemed to enjoy.
In 2015, I was still grieving a bit. I mean you never stop grieving the loss of a loved one, and there is never a time you can schedule it to work around it, but my sister recognized it and said, “Why don’t I host Christmas Eve?” Change? What about my Christmas traditions? “Oh, for Pete’s sake!“ she said “It’s the same just a different address.” It was one of the most fun Christmas Eves we’ve had in a long time. Perhaps traditions can have address changes without too much worry. Seemed it was a hit in 2016 and 2017 as well. Hopefully, she’s planning for us all to show up again this year, because 2018 is but days away for Christmas Eve.
Last year, I was hit with another change to tradition. The adult children were not there in the morning. I still host the dinner portion so I had everything prepped and ready to be cooked by 9:00 am. Why can’t I sleep past 7 am? Now, this year, those same adult children have significant others so, not only are they not here for Christmas morning, now I’m sharing them with another family. I often remember my mom saying that Christmases just weren’t the same after we all grew and started our own lives. I think of all those Christmas mornings, when my kids would try sneaking out of their rooms to see if Santa came, and I’d yell, “Get back to bed!!” Quite often my head had barely hit the pillow. I’d get up exhausted thinking why did I stay up so late knowing this morning would be so full of excitement and chaos. I remember once my Mom said, “One day you’ll look back on these Christmas mornings and not once will you regret having that night cap the night before, or spending social time with the people you hold dear.” My Mom was right.
As a Mom myself, I do look forward to adding a couple of extra chairs around our table. In my small kitchen, where we all trip over each other, and there is not room on my counter or table for another thing. Where the people behind the table fill their plates first so they can get in and settled. Where the person closest to the fridge is in charge of drinks.
When I think of traditions now I smile. It was never the place or time, it was, and always is, the people that make those events in my life so wonderfully memorable. I believe we call them “traditions” with hopes we are able to pass down, or build on, to a momentous time that created such wonderful memories. Charlie Brown said it best, “It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, it’s who’s around it.”
This year we’re building on. I can’t look at it as having to share this time, I have to look at it as new people to share this time with. Time to create new traditions/memories.