Traditions = Memories
It's true in most ways that "you can't take it with you," but I'd like to think that our memories are something that will stay with us forever. As parents and grandparents, what an opportunity we have to create memories that tie us together for generations!
I am blessed to have wonderful memories of Christmases when I was growing up. I'm extremely grateful to have grown up in a home where family was the everything. And, well, Christmas was right up there with it. My parents loved Christmas and provided us with traditions that now live on with my grandchildren.
Christmas Eve was the very best night of the whole year. Let me tell you just a little bit about it. It took my parents all month to shop, cook, bake, wrap, decorate and prepare for the evening. The dessert table alone was covered with candies, cookies, and treats. There were napoleons, meringues, caramel covered marshmallows, fudge, sugar cookies, divinity, and more. The meal consisted of glazed ham, meatballs, cheesy potatoes, vermicelli salad, green salad, jello salad, rolls, and more. The whole room was lit with strings of colored Christmas lights hung on trees and lights hung on all the walls surrounding the room. Gifts for each person were piled neatly in the corner creating much anticipation from the littles. When everyone had enough to eat, we gathered closer together for the program which consisted of acting out the Nativity, talents shared by each of the younger generation, and singing carols. To top off the whole evening, we never failed to hear the ringing of Santa's sleigh bells as he flew past the windows on his way to make deliveries. It was pure magic.
My parents continued this tradition until they were well into their 80's and they physically couldn't do it anymore. If you are blessed with great memories similar to this, I hope you do all in your power to keep them going. If you weren't, then you have an open canvas to start your very own traditions and memories!
Oh and by the way, as you were reading this, if you were picturing something that looked like it was out of a magazine, it wasn't. My parents built their somewhat small home in the 70's. Our party was in the basement that my dad finished himself--he wasn't a carpenter. There was barely enough room for 50+ of us to squeeze in. That's not what mattered. The magic came in being together with those we loved, the beautiful lights, the amazing food, the yummy treats, and the magic of Christmas. Even though my parents have been gone for a few years, each of my siblings have carried on the tradition and we have our own families come each Christmas Eve. We carry on many traditions our parents started and we've each added our own personal traditions as well.
The traditions we create now will be the memories our children cherish in the future.
Wishing you a Christmas season filled with joy!