Traditions Hold Families Together
A thousand times, I've unpacked our Christmas decorations, lights and holiday baubles. Everything in the boxes reminds me of an event, a stage of life, or a small boy's best work.
As each adornment comes to rest in its proper place, something wonderful happens. I start to relive the years through memories of past holiday seasons. There's something about chubby faces framed by Mason jar lids and macaroni angels that loosen the tears and wash the soul.
I'm immersed in the wonder that I've been given another year to know my boys and husband. I recall with amazing acuity the seasons through which we've lived. With 20/20 vision, I see how situations we questioned happened for a reason, trials brought triumphs and little boys became good men.
I force myself to pause momentarily and remember the failures and mistakes. They have a way of keeping things in perspective.
Once the house is properly dressed, it's time for our family traditions to begin. Sweets, treats and delicious delicacies magically appear. Eggnog and hot chocolate flow freely, games and puzzles are called into service, parties planned, calendars coordinated and visits with relatives booked. We've always done it this way. These traditions are what bring a sense of security to our hectic lives.
Our holiday traditions have carried us through difficult times. When there was little money to buy gifts, our unchanging traditions diverted our attention from what we didn't have to what we did.
It never ceases to amaze me that hardly any of us can recall the gifts we received as recently as last year, but we remember exactly what we did, who came to visit and everything that contributed to the warmth and wonder of the season.
If you are anxious to start some holiday traditions in your home, look for guidance in the stories of Christmas or Hanukkah, or the festivities celebrated in your family's country of origin. Interview your parents or grandparents to learn about their childhood family traditions. Resurrect them. Emulate the activities of the happiest people you know. Watch what they do during the holidays and start doing that yourself. If you do something once and plan to do it again, it qualifies as a tradition.
I've never dreaded the close of the holidays or considered repacking our decorations a depressing chore. As I put everything away, I think about how quickly time passes, and how soon I'll be unpacking again. I daydream about what might happen in the next twelve months, wonder what possible challenges or dramatic changes we'll face in the coming year. Our lives could be altered drastically by the time I open these boxes again.
With the joy of the season past still lingering and the promise of the year to come beckoning, I cram the last box into its spot. I slide the door closed, hoping everything won't melt during the summer, haul out the vacuum and replace the furniture exactly as it was before because that, too, is a tradition.
SOURCE: Mary Hunt - Everyday Cheapskate NL