This is the first year I will not get to see any of my family for Christmas. As all of us kids have grown up, there have been years when someone is missing Christmas, or we can only come the day after Christmas. For us, this year, our family will be the one missing at my mom’s house. We will be here in Denver, starting our own family traditions. I am having a hard time with this. Will it still seem like Christmas to me even though the traditions I grew up with will not be happening?
I love going to my mom’s for Christmas. It has always seemed magical to me at Christmas, maybe it is the oodles of Christmas goodies (can you say peanut butter balls?) or the perfectly decorated tree and house (Isaiah loves the singing snowman) or how hospitable my mom is in making the time there relaxing and fun. I think what I love the most is getting everyone together. Since I have a large family it is always fun to go home and reconnect with everyone, see how big the kids are and just be. I admit, it is chaos, for sure, but comfortable and expected chaos.
I think a lot of it comes down to traditions. My mom and I always bake holiday goodies for neighbors and friends, we always have the most amazing food (my mom truly is one of the best cooks!), when we come home from church we stay up late eating scotcharoos and chex mix while catching up on life. Actual Christmas day my grandparents always came over and we would enjoy my Grandma Healey coloring the noodles bright yellow (so they would look homemade of course), eating way to much food, naps, games, and of course presents. I miss my family dearly, living so far away, but I think this year it is good as we begin our own family traditions.
We have been thinking a lot about what we want to do for our family traditions. Here are some of our new traditions: Advent activity calendar, getting a real Christmas tree (finally), cookie exchange with friends, baking with my kids, attending church, waking our kids up by singing Christmas carols on Christmas Day, reading the Christmas story, Christmas Brunch on Christmas morning, ice skating (that is still a maybe, we’ll see how it goes this year), homemade presents for grandparents and teachers, adopting a family or child in some way to provide for them, and many more traditions to be discovered. Even though I am sad not to get to go back to the midwest, I am thankful that God has provided joy and excitement and my wonderful husband and kids to get to be with this Christmas. I pray that the traditions we begin with them will become as meaningful to them as mine were/are to me!