Traditions…..it’s what makes the memories for each and every one of us. Growing up my family had several traditions. One that stands out the most to me is one at Christmas time. Every Christmas, my Mimi would load up my aunt’s car with me and all 7 of my cousins to go Christmas caroling (2 of my cousins lived in Santa Fe, NM so they didn’t get to regularly participate in this activity).
Aren’t we all cute! That’s me front and center. I distinctly remember a station wagon one year with no seatbelts for all of us piled in the back! That’s how life rolled back in the day. HA!
After we were all loaded up, we would then proceed to each of my Mimi’s friends’ houses and Christmas carol. Some were widowed, while others just had family that lived far away and they were alone for the holidays. My Mimi spread cheer to those she loved by simply having her grandchildren sing at their doorstep. Her desire was to love on her friends. Simple as that. And everyone of the recipients enjoyed it! Now, if you think christmas caroling sounds miserable, there were some perks. Some of these special friends made us goodies each year we went. We LOVED going to Ms. Green’s house. Two things I remember from her house – her homemade popcorn balls and her fake fireplace logs. Sure some years we would complain about having to go but NONE of us wanted to upset Mimi. Not because she would do something to us but we genuinely did not want to upset her. And I bet each and every one of us grandkids are so thankful for all the memories Mimi created with us each year.
These are the kind of memories you and your little family can create if you have moved away from family. The past few moves, we have lived too far from our families to go home for the holidays. This forced us to create our own little traditions. And that’s a good thing! Most traditions don’t start out planned….they just happen. For example, one of ours is to let our kids stay in the PJs all day on Christmas. I certainly didn’t plan that to be a tradition but my kids loved it so much the first year they asked the following year and thus a tradition was born (one of them loved it so much he wrote about it at school for a traditions project – ha!). Starting traditions within your own family is not only healthy but really creates a sense of “home” to your new surroundings. And I bet you anything, your kids remember them and cherish them. My kids can spout off all kinds of memories of things we do as a family to celebrate different holidays. And look at me – I can still recall times associated with my family and traditions. Do I miss spending the holidays with family? Absolutely!….but what we do have as our little family is so special to me and my kids that I wouldn’t change it one bit. So, please do not sit in sadness if you can’t go home for the holidays…..make your own memories! You never know…you may like them more! And no, I don’t make my kids go christmas caroling (although one day when I have grandkids…watch out!).