Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's All About Tradition

It's that time again, the holidays are upon us! They sneak up so fast and before you know it they're gone again! This year I've decided to slow things down with the hopes the season won't flash before my eyes. I want to take in the true meaning of Christmas and allow time to reflect and appreciate what's truly important during this time of year.
My coworker and I had a conversation earlier in the week and we agreed that Christmas just isn't the same when you're an adult. When you were a kid everything was magical, possible and you had an unlimited amount of hope. If you were anything like my brother and I, we took Christmas traditions very seriously. While Mom decorated literally every inch of the house in Christmas decor, Jimmy and I would lock ourselves in our rooms and decorate. No one was allowed in until our masterpieces were complete! We would go to bed with our rooms lit up and Mom would unplug them while we were sleeping. Jimmy and I also had a big collection of Christmas coloring books that would sit in our bookcase until the proper time of the year. We would spend evenings coloring and Mom would always bring us a new one from work to add to our collection. We loved spending countless hours outside romping in the snow with my best friend Kristin and her sister Kimberly. Eating icicles off the roof, making snow forts, sledding or just sitting in the snow and taking in the winter night. If you can honestly tell me you never laid under your Christmas tree while it was lit and took in all the lights, you need to do this when you get home. Christmas Eve was always a difficult night to sleep, knowing "Santa" was going to bring us new toys. As we got older Mom would always tell us that this Christmas wasn't going to be like last and it was going to be "smaller" to this day we still don't think she knows the meaning of the word. I would often watch Mom make her fudge that she would place in tins or on platters with other assorted goodies and Jimmy and I would have to deliver them to the neighbors. Christmas morning it's tradition that Mom makes her Raisin Bran muffins for breakfast, it's something us kids look forward to every year. When she was done making ours she would continue baking so Jimmy and I could deliver a few more dozen to the neighbors. Always on a special Christmas platter with a few sticks of butter. They were always fresh out of the oven, piping hot upon delivery!
Unfortunately Christmas time isn't quite as magical as it was when I was a kid. Instead of spending a sleepless Christmas Eve in excitement for Santa to visit, you're now Santa. Your sleepless night is now because you're going over everything in your head to make sure you didn't miss a gift. I have come to the realization however that all those years of being a kid during the holidays has prepped me for the kind of adult I want to be. I've been given the greatest responsibility in making sure all the kids in my life enjoy Christmas as much as I did. Even though Eric and I don't have kids of our own to make special traditions with, we have many nieces and nephews to practice on! Eric and I love buying presents for all the kids and watching them get excited, it's even more fun when the parents get excited too! Eric may not understand why I get so excited to watch the old Peanuts cartoons, Rudolph or Frosty the Snowman on TV, but Jimmy does and we still send each other a text to make sure we watch it. Hopefully when Eric sees how excited our someday kids get when they come on TV, he'll understand.
Last month I took the challenge of announcing something I was thankful for, for 22 days. This month I've promised myself that I'm going to slow things down and try to find the real meaning of Christmas if you will. I'm almost finished with my first Christmas book, our house is decorated and my shopping for all the little ones in our lives is almost done! I listen to Christmas music on my way to and from work and enjoy a warm beverage to keep me cozy when I can. No matter how hard I try I can't fight back the tears when I hear "I'll Be Home For Christmas" on the radio, even though I know my sister will be in town before I know it!  I've told myself that I'm going to try to do something "festive" every week to keep my spirits up! I'm going to enjoy my family all month long and let them know how much they mean to me. When you get down to it, Christmas isn't about gifts, it's about tradition, memories and the warm fuzzy feeling you get when your family is surrounding you. I hope everyone enjoys Christmas this year, no matter how you prefer to celebrate it! Merry Christmas!

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