Traditionally Christmas

What would the holidays be without traditions, the things we do every year? Incomplete, that's for sure! And when asked what we do every year, a list quickly comes to mind:

  • Decorate the house by Thanksgiving (or the weekend after)
  • K's Christmas party at the house
  • Making graham cracker houses or cookies with the Wheatley's
  • The family white elephant gift exchange on Christmas Eve
  • Christmas dinner at our house with family and friends
  • Watching Christmas movies like Elf, The Christmas Story, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and more
That's just the short list. But there's one other tradition that we've had for 20+ years that this year is not happening.

We have some wonderful friends that have been second parents/family for more years than I care to count. One of the things we did each year was go to their house and decorate for Christmas. Some years we'd help bring in the beautifully flocked tree and other years it was already in its place of honor in the front room window. We'd discuss what the color theme was for the year (red or blue/green or gold) and then proceed to bring up boxes of lights, ornaments, and decorations while we enjoyed Christmas music and "Dad" headed for the TV downstairs to enjoy a football game.We each had our assignments - I did the tree, K and J worked on the nativity and then moved on to help D with the other decorations, and "Mom" would hand me ornaments for the tree after carefully applying just the right length hook. It usually took a couple of hours and once the tree skirt was on and the train set up under the tree, we'd get Dad from the basement. And without fail, he'd come up the stairs, round the corner, and say "Oh my, isn't it beautiful" and we knew our job was complete. Then we'd head outside to admire the view through the window and after a round of oohs and ahhs we'd head into the house to wrap up the experience with pizza, root beer, and lots of chatting. It was a wonderful experience.

Well, time has marched on and their health is to the point that they now reside in a care facility - luckily still together. But this year there will be no decorating of the house or Dad exclaiming Oh my! We'll still go and visit and chat and we have plans for a few decorations, but no tree or nativity because their little room can't handle the decor. And so I look back fondly on those years of bonding and decorating with love in my heart and tears in my eyes as I realize that some traditions don't last forever, but luckily the love and memories do.

I am so grateful to this wonderful family for taking us in so many years ago and making us a part of their family. For the chance to serve them in such a small way by decorating for them each Christmas. This year won't be the same and a part of my holiday season will be missing, but I would never trade the past or the memories and love I have in my heart from this small, yet monumental Christmas tradition.

Our picture together last year after decorating (I'm taking the picture)

dana  – (December 11, 2010 at 5:53 PM)  

those were good times - golden memories. thanks for putting words to such a wonderful memory! my love to all of you.

StacyC  – (December 11, 2010 at 10:41 PM)  

Thanks! It was a hard memory to write - so many emotions and memories tied into it.

Love to you and your family!

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My posts are random. They cover a variety of subjects, but are mostly about things I enjoy, am inspired by, or catch my attention at that moment. I don't ever want to offend anyone by anything I write. This blog is a way to express myself and the interests I have. I hope you enjoy what I share.

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