The Truth About Tinsel, Trees, and Traditions

“Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved.” ~A Christmas Story

Does that picture make my teeth look like they're chattering?

Earmuffs Santa. I’ve a feeling you’re not going to like this.

I’m not going to lie to you, Christmas is not my favorite holiday.  (I can almost hear the sleigh bells halting and making a last-minute detour to skip my house). But before you start to question if my heart is two sizes too small, let me explain myself.

It used to be.  As a kid I lived for it.  I loved tearing through the gifts and (as any kid would) hated when Mom would make us sit at the top of the stairs for a picture on Christmas morning as the four of us kids jostled for the best position once she said go. But as I grew older, what I loved were the people, the traditions.

It was the craziness of 15 cousins, you’re Grammy cupping your face in her hands after a big hug as she told you how much she missed you.  It was Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house, the laughter and chatter of family and warm welcoming fire.  It was falling asleep on the car ride home while snow flakes fell softly against the window and Dad reading Twas the Night Before Christmas before tucking us into bed.  It was the sound of trains, the ugly ornament contest, the smell of cinnamon rolls and Grandad’s hug after you gave him his 20th “World’s Greatest Grandpa” mug.  It was those moments, those places, those people and those memories that made Christmas my favorite holiday.

We all have those traditions and at one point or another we watch them change.  Christmas is different now.  We moved, people passed away, and traditions changed. It’s been tough as someone who loves family traditions, but these past couple years, I’m beginning to see the beauty in it all.  This is the in between time, the exciting part.  We’re making our own traditions, borrowing the old and embracing the new and making them our own.

Real tree of course

So while this Christmas I sometimes miss what I knew as a child and people I held so dear as well as those I love who are far away this holiday, including my best friend (things are just not nearly as fun without him) I’m realizing it’s just part of the growth, the evolution, the change, and that there is so much beauty wrapped up in the in-between.

Yep, I have the sneaking suspicion me and Christmas…will make up some day soon.

Someday I’ll look back and remember this as my kids fall asleep in the backseat on the way home on a Christmas Eve that was filled with rich tradition that they’ll always remember.  Caesar doesn’t count, although he is loving this Atlanta Christmas in the 50 degree weather so I’m sure he’d welcome this tradition.

And because it’s Christmas Eve here’s a little something from a Christmas classic:

“Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand”

See.  My heart isn’t made of stone.  I’m off to go grab my favorite winter ale, put some Christmas music on and finish wrapping before Santa gets here.  Merry Christmas everyone!


8 thoughts on “The Truth About Tinsel, Trees, and Traditions

  1. This was awesome Jackie. I’m glad you’re back and I hope finals finished up well for you. Merry christmas to you, Ben, and your family.

  2. I love Christmas traditions (even though they have changed over the years since my sibs and I were little), but I love new traditions we’ve created over the years too. Hope you had a wonderful time with your family and friends!

  3. I fell off the xmas wagon many years ago for various reasons and have had a hard time getting back on. Basically I’m not a fan of the holidays after Thanksgiving and before St. Patty’s day.

  4. Pingback: This New Year’s Present « JayeWalking

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