With Christmas rapidly approaching, my resolve to not spend the entire holiday season in tears is very strong. It is going to be tough this holiday season without my mom but we have been doing our best to redefine some of the traditions we have known for so long and create some new ones. I had carefully delineated a plan of not leaving the house, but that seems to be going off the rails so I’ll have to do my best to keep a brave face. I’m sure a few tears will leak from the corners of my eyes and stain my cheeks but that is to be expected and will certainly be understood by all who see those tears fall.
Holidays are about tradition – whether adhering to old ones or beginning new ones. This year will be a bit of both. My mom’s famous Grasshopper Pie will surreptitiously make its way to the table after our feast of turkey and our best attempt at her stuffing. But because of work schedules, our Christmas food bonanza and subsequent turkey coma will be on the 23rd so that will be the first of the changes for this year.
My brother and his family will attend the church service on Christmas Eve (I don’t think I can get through that step this year) and we will meet afterwards to show the newly purchased or creatively engineered ornaments to adorn the Charlie Brown Christmas tree my mom loved so much. We will tell stories of why the ornament reminds us of her and take turns sharing our memories. I may even sneak into town and hide in a quiet driveway somewhere to watch Santa Claus go by on the fire truck. I don’t think I can let that tradition go and I know a few tears will find themselves frozen to my face before the truck has passed.
The most important thing to focus on, especially this year, is that Christmas is about family. My brother, sister-in-law, my nephews and the family and friends scattered around the globe will always be the presence and the only presents I want during the holidays. And somewhere during the festivities, I know that my mom and dad’s eyes will be looking at us through those twinkling lights and sharing those moments with us. That is a tradition that will never end.