My husband and I recently, and finally, moved into our new home. It was a slow process with so many delays that I had my doubts we would ever see it finished. And, though there are still things to do, the main items needed to live comfortably are done. This season is one of thanks, faith, joy, love, forgiveness, gratitude, charity and family. Besides those, and my husband will laugh at this based on my outward behavior while moving, I will add contentment.
I know everything will progress and, in a few months, I will be able to see the home I envisioned. I know it will not be ready in time for Christmas, but I will share memories of my childhood holiday with my grandchildren and make new memories we can look back on in the coming years. I missed a lot by living so far away from my grandparents, so I am thrilled that we live so close to four of our grands and less than four hours from the other three.
Summers were the time we went to Texas to visit my grandparents. It was a long two-and-a-half-day car trip, but it was worth it as I loved spending time with them. One year, my parents, tired of the cold and snow, decided to make the trip to spend Christmas there. My father packed his golf clubs in anticipation of a green grass course and, as a last-minute thought, put tire chains in the trunk in case we ran into snow on the way home. One day into the trip, we ran into a snowstorm that slowed our travels and followed us all the way to our destination. On went the tire chains, but the golf clubs never made it out of the trunk. My sister and I loved experiencing Christmas in Texas and being with our grandparents. We thought we would miss a white Christmas, but as it turned out, we had one after all. This Christmas memory is one of my favorites.
I was a very lucky child. I have nothing but the best recollections of the holiday season. My parents made it special with beautiful decorations, wonderful traditions, trips downtown to see incredible store windows, delicious food that was shared with good friends, baking treats, and, of course, a visit to see Santa.
I love seeing how our daughters have embraced some of the traditions they grew up with and are sharing with their children. I am also glad that they are making their own customs and integrating items and ideas from their husbands’ celebrations.
One thing that has been tweaked, but not stopped, is finding the perfect Christmas tree. When our girls were young, we were fortunate enough to have a place in the mountains to go to cut down our family tree. After Thanksgiving, we traveled to West Jefferson where my in-laws had a vacation home, found our tree, and had a spectacular meal at a local restaurant. My father-in-law passed out a sheet of paper and an envelope to those old enough to write. We were to write down what we were thankful for. We put the letters in an envelope with our name on it and the date. He collected them and saved them every year. We read the previous year’s note after writing one for the current year. We still go to the mountains for our tree, but someone else cuts it down for us. We still have lunch at Shatley Springs, unless they’re closed due to COVID, and we still write letters. Not all of our families make the trip every year, but we’ll continue this tradition as long as we can.
A fairly new thing I have started doing with my granddaughter is the reverse advent calendar. Please, if you are able, this is a wonderful way to give back and help those in your community that are in need. The food bank will appreciate your donation, and your grandchildren will have fun shopping and learning about the gift of giving.
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you! May you have a blessed season and new year!