How to Have a Very Merry Whatever
By Sandy Schroeder
We live in such a turbulent age that even the holidays take a backseat once in a while. You may have noticed that as you struggle to take care of your family, stay up with work, and still hang onto holiday traditions. I think we just need to remain calm and centered as we preserve the best of our family memories, channeling them into today's moments.
Here are a few thoughts for aligning yesterday's memories with today's opportunities (yes, a few still really do exist!). These are all drawn from my memories as a child, and later as a mom. You might make your own list to do a custom fit for your family with favorite foods, gifts, and unique little touches.
Hanging Christmas stockings on the fireplace - Gramma knitted individual stockings for each little boy, just right to hang on the fireplace. Then somebody noticed the pets needed stockings too! Of course Gramma came through and they were hung too.
Picking the tree and cutting it down - Our full-sized white station wagon was drafted for the mission, and Grampa took charge as we headed off to pick a tree. Three little boys and Grampa picked the very biggest and best one they could find that would fit into the wagon. After chopping it down and fitting it into the wagon (a minor miracle), we drove home. Now we just had to maneuver it into the house and position it by the window. No small feat. Much later that night the tree glowed and the kids beamed. Grampa was grinning too. Another very good day.
Hot chocolate and a roaring fire - Throughout the holiday season it was a tradition to bring sleeping bags and sit by the fire to have hot chocolate and hear a Christmas story.
Picking special gifts for each pet - Selecting individual gifts for our dynamic little black spaniel and two sleek black cats was always a project. Great way to teach the spirit of giving.
Late night scurrying - After we wrapped all of the presents or tied bows on the really big ones, we would go to bed and then hear footsteps and muffled giggles. When the house was all quiet, and they thought it was safe, they would creep down the hall to check it all out. Yes, Santa had arrived, and all was well.
Christmas morning - A sea of wrapping paper and three little boys with their dog bounded around the gifts. Legos, surf gear, soccer balls, science experiments, new bikes, and bright red sleeping bags were all part of the loot.
Each year we have another opportunity to recapture that amazing spirit of hope and promise.
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