Thursday, December 15, 2011

Establishing family traditions gives everyone something to look forward to each year as well as creating memories that last forever. Years ago, when our girls were younger, I wanted to establish a tradition in our family that we could carry on as they grew up. I decided that each of us had to write a ‘Christmas Letter’ which we would read aloud on Christmas morning before opening gifts. The first year I heard a couple grumbles about it but I said, “No letter, no presents”. J  The contents of the letter are up to the individual. Some talk about what they are thankful for in the past year, others keep a running tally as the year goes by and talks about what each month held, some write poetry,  while others do a ‘top ten’ list of the past year. I’ve kept all the letters over the years and each year I go back through them and cry a little bit. Not sad tears really, but the letters bring back so many memories of our family and how life changes over time. Now, years later we all look forward to hearing each other’s letters. Some are very emotional and usually we all ending up crying before we even start reading them! Every year we vow we won’t get emotional but we do. When Brad married Jess, we informed him he was now part of the tradition and he thought we were joking; right up till Christmas Eve when he realized we were serious and he finalized his letter around midnight. J A couple years later Jon entered our family and his first Christmas letter was about how thankful he was to be accepted into our family after having a rather difficult upbringing. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
I’m looking forward to the time when our grandkids are old enough to ‘write’ letters and share in our tradition. You always hear people ask what you would grab if you only had a short time to get out of your house. I’d grab as many pictures as possible, family videos, and our Christmas Letters. J
*Thought for the day*                    
Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; teach us to be patient and always to be kind. – Helen Steiner Rice

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