I recently asked my seven-year-old granddaughter, Charley, what are our traditions for Christmas? To my delight, she responds with what I work the hardest on, their Scavenger Hunt for their last present. She explained to me how it works and even remembered where it ended and the presents that she got. My heart filled with joy. She also knew that their stocking always has her favorite candy (of the year, at least) and that we listen to “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” I love traditions and it makes my heart sing when others look forward to them.
This year is going to look different for us; we aren’t having a big meal together with my side of the family, my husband’s side of the family isn’t coming for the traditional evening gathering, so instead of stressing and being sad about these things I have decided to focus on the traditions that I can do and maybe adding one or two. To add to our traditions, we took Charley to pick out a present for her little sister, Hazel. Hazel is four. Charley was very focused on the color Hazel liked and that she liked ponies. She picked out a gift that she “…just knows Hazel will love.” We then took Hazel the next day, Hazel at first was not so sure. I explained to her about the joy of giving and the pride you feel when you pick out just the right gift. She started off really well; she picked a Descendants book; we know Charley likes them, but she quickly changed her mind. She wanted a book about rainbows because Charley loves rainbows but then decided that Charley loves to play and would like a toy. This is where she lost track of who she was buying for and was distracted by her own choices. Gigi and Papaw persisted, and we kept her on the mission, and we did leave the store with an item that included rainbows, unicorns, and gummies, three of Charley’s favorite things. I hope that we can keep this tradition as the process though tiresome, was simply so fun to be a part of. The other thing we will add this year is the Candy Cane Olympics! It is from one of my favorites bloggers, PlayPartyPlan. Go ahead and click here to get the games. Charley is super excited because she loves candy canes. They picked what they want me to fix, meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and ice cream. I’ll add some adult choices as well. I’ll add that as a tradition as well.
Though I can’t be with every family member and loved one this Christmas; I will take joy and traditions with those dearest to me, my husband Rick, my daughter Wendi and son-in-law Jeff, and our two granddaughters, Charley and Hazel, who will delight in our traditions, old and new. Those that feel comfortable with dropping by to say hi may do so too, our room on Facebook will be open as well for those that want to drop in virtually.
A tradition that I hope that IAACE will continue is the Secret Santa. Over 12 gifts were sent out by our Secret Santas and I have received many emails about the delight and happiness that they brought, I’m sure we will get a few more as I know the USPS is working hard to get all the gifts delivered.
From the Polar Express, “just remember the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.” and from Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas “What if Christmas he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What is Christmas perhaps…means a little bit more!”
May your holiday be filled with traditions, new and old, and may it bring joy and replenishment to your soul.