I love my traditions, they ground me, comfort me and increase my sense of celebration. Building upon family history as we repeat interesting little rituals and adhere to quirky little rules.
This year I was breaking with one tradition, I was going out early and it felt rebellious. I knew the weekend of December 1st was going to be a busy one. Traditionally that is the day we put up our Christmas decorations. The day when tinsel and glitter are strewn from one end of the house to the other. My much-loved Christmas playlist is blaring through the speakers, the cameras are charged, and at the ready, as two overly excited children and one over enthused adult go crazy.
This year we started our set up early, two weeks ago in fact. Somehow the family schedule filled up so fast we have not had an entire day at home together for weeks. I was faced with these choices – decorate on my own while the kids were at school, decorate later in December or decorate together in small bursts when we could.
Small bursts it was, the main tree last week, and then box by box a little more each night until we were all done and ready.
It has felt different, unusual and yes I have missed that crazy, crazy day when it all happens at once. A tradition I will now value even more and will no doubt schedule into the calendar earlier next year.
I have not been a complete tradition rebel, in fact I have so many much-loved traditions I am surprised at times.
It was tree day and I headed out to the shed to retrieve the various boxes of ornaments. The kids were bursting with excitement flipping off the box lids and marvelling at the splendour beneath. As I assembled the tree itself I took note of the Santas playing with Angels while the Gingerbread Man watched on.
There was one box I had purposely put to one side out of their reach. It was my special box, my moment to enjoy, my box filled with tradition.
I took my time with it, carefully lifting out each of the 13 precious ornaments. It is not that they are all delicate and breakable or even expensive. They are irreplaceable.
The year we were married I went out and bought an ornament to symbolise new love and labelled it “Just Married 1999”. Every year since I have taken an indulgent amount of time to reflect on my family’s year and then chosen an ornament to capture this. Each one labelled with the year and hung with pride on our tree.
This is my tradition, my little moment and each year as I open my special box I relive each wonderful year of my marriage and the creation of family.
Here she is, this year’s ornament.
My angel of happiness FREE to sing, laugh, dance …..create.
I would love to get a great discussion going around traditions, share here or on my Facebook page some of the traditions you have at Christmas.
Christmas a fabulous time of year.