This Christmas has been an emotion roller coaster for me as I reminisce Christmas memories and focus on creating new Christmas traditions with Jeff. Doubtful I’ll get through writing this without becoming a sappy mess.
Growing up my Mom made sure my sister and I had perfect Christmas memories. We grew up making more cookies than our neighborhood could eat, stringing popcorn and cranberry garland, visiting Santa at my grandpa’s Masonic Lodge, driving to downtown Columbus to see the lights, decorating the tree and waking up to a living room full of presents on Christmas morning. I’m sure it was very similar to our friend’s Christmas, but it was magic to me. This picture cracks me up… not sure why I was shooting my sister a stern look.
When Jeff and I were raising our little family, I was either really into Christmas or the biggest ba-humbug in history. I never felt that I could live up to my expectations and was exhausted before I even attempted to gear up for Christmas. Somehow, we managed to create a few traditions that stuck over the years. We made cookies (always buckeyes), hunted and cut down the perfect tree, decorated the tree, topped the tree with a lift from Dad, and a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve. Most years the kids opened all their presents before Christmas because Jeff and I simply could not wait. Cutting the tree became an all day event, as I insisted on hunting the tree farm until I found the perfect tree, regardless of the weather. As the kids got older, the traditions were for my benefit. Yep, the kids were having a blast!
The year before we all flew the coop…. oh boy, did the years fly by.
Over time, I experienced my favorite traditions in other ways. Like the year my sister and I baked cookies with my Grandma.
My Mom now makes Christmas cookies with Emily, my daughter and her friends.
Emily and Jacob (daughter and son-inlaw) have started their own traditions, including cutting down a tree from our favorite tree farm. Emily posted to Facebook, “We got a Christmas tree. I was channeling my mom and made us walk all the way to the back of the tree lot, in the cold to find the “perfect” tree. Good memories.” LOVE that girl!
I LOVE the smile on her face!
Last year Jeff got to place the star on the top of our tree for the first time.
This year I went shopping alone for our trees (yes I said trees, meaning two for our house and five for The Coop) and bought them from a big box hardware store. GASP! After all these years I discovered that I can get seven trees for the price of one. However, it will never have the same magic.
This year Jeff and I started a few new traditions. He joined me in making buckeyes.
We went to see The Nutcracker at The Festival Institute in Round Top. Jeff and his mother, Ginger, had never seen The Nutcracker. None of us had experienced The Festival Institute. Wow!
This was my first year to decorate The Coop. I honestly enjoyed transforming The Coop, making ornaments and hosting Christmas At The Coop. I look forward to Rocking Around The Coop next year. Great memories to build new traditions upon!
I miss the traditions of my childhood and the ones Jeff and I created with our kids. It is heartwarming to watch my adult children maintain some old traditions, while creating their own. Jeff and I have whittled down the traditions in our empty nest and have enjoyed a slower paced holiday. I’m insisting we wait until Christmas morning to open our gifts, a first for us.
The traditions are fun, but it’s the people I created them with that is priceless. I’m so grateful for a rich life filled with family and friends!
May your holiday season be full of joy! In the midst of a hectic season, I pray that you savor time with loved ones and make memories to last you all year long!
And the birds fluttered around her writing, “YES” in the sky!