Traditions come and go as life changes happen. Growing up, Christmas was my favorite holiday and year after year, the day looked the same. Wake up time was very, very early and consisted of jumping on my parents bed at an hour I don’t think they appreciated. However, they got up with us and put Christmas music on the stereo system (no iPods were invented yet). Favorite album: Emmy Lou Harris – Light of the Stable.
We sat by the gigantic tree and we were ready to begin unwrapping the piles of gifts. Sometimes we had aunts, sometimes uncles and sometimes grandparents. It didn’t really matter who was with us as long as we were al together. We were the type of openers that watched while one person opened a present. Then we rotated, typically passing the presents in an equal fashion. After opening all of the presents, we would go downstairs and read the letter that Santa wrote to us. He was really eloquent every single year. After this the stockings were next. We all just dug in!
After opening the presents, my Mom would go upstairs and start cooking breakfast which included: oatmeal and biscuits made from scratch. Think: fluffy, warm and so delicious. I can almost smell them even though the last time she made them was in 2008. After breakfast, we spent the rest of the day enjoying our gifts.
Traditions come and go as we grow up. While Christmas is still (and always will be) with my Dad and stepmom, the day looks a lot different. On Sunday, we went down from the guest house to the main house at 9am. I wrapped some of my Dad’s presents for him, as he is a horrible wrapper. That hasn’t changed and never will, although he did try this year. We had breakfast around 10am. The hours went by and the presents sat.
The time went very slowly. I scrolled through Facebook living vicariously through others because they had already celebrated Christmas. At 1:30pm we had lunch. Still no presents. At 2:45pm still no presents. FINALLY, at 3:15pm we all sat by the tree but only had time to go through the stockings. However, at 4:15pm we left to go have dinner under candlelight at this really cool inn. So far, that was the best part of Christmas 2016.
We got home at 7:30pm and didn’t open presents. At 8:00pm we finally opened presents. However, Christmas was on hold when we smelled a gassy smell. My Dad called the gas company and they made a house call on Christmas. Bless this man for working on Christmas and happily working. He was the sweetest guy. Turns out there was a: broken belt and a dirty filter in desperate need of a cleaning. Did I mention he was up on the roof because he thought an animal was stuck in the chimney? Crisis averted. Diagnostics proved “it is not a deadly fume, it is just a stinky fume.” Thanks to this sweet man, the gassy smell went bye bye.
At 10:30pm everyone went their separate ways, not even going through our presents. Christmas might not look like it used to but family dynamics have drastically changed. With that, comes compromise. I am learning to let things go. I am thankful that we have a roof over our head, heat (thanks to the gas guy), good company and love. Next year might look completely different and if that is the case, we will all figure it out and create new traditions.
However, one tradition that will never ever stop is holiday cards and ornaments. Every year we send out a holiday card and this year’s was obviously my absolute favorite! Thank you to Layce of Layce Bauman Photography and Becky of Rebecca Wilcher Photography for taking these beautiful photographs and for Minted‘s card design.
Every year I find a new ornament for our tree and this is the one I got for 2016! Obviously it is also my absolute favorite one. I will continue these traditions and make way for new ones too.