Love the Holidays

I love the holidays!

It changes my focus to family and friends. I have a tendency to live in facts and figures, so holiday parties and family gatherings challenge me. Instead of fighting it, I embrace it. I take time to spend with family, to slow down and enjoy the season. I allow it to warm my heart.

To get into the season I have a few traditions of my own. Each year I decorate the tree. I toss on Christmas music and relive the memories triggered by each Christmas ornament I place on the tree. The oldest one is a silk lantern I received from a pen pal from South Korea when I was 12. I have a straw horse from Boston when I was an internal auditor for Fort Howard, back in1986. The glass whale from Hawaii that I picked up on a Christmas vacation back in 1898 goes on near the top. I have many ornaments that represent my boys – one red and another in blue. The list goes on…

I also enjoy sending Christmas cards. My list has cut down in the past few years. Each card I write stirs up memories of times I spent with them. Some I only touch once a year. For others it reminds of how fast time is passing. My Aunts and Uncles have been on my list forever, but as we age that list is starting to get shorter.

Family gatherings are the most challenging part for me, just trying to get together. The loss of grandparents and parents changed the dynamics. Steve and I have 8 siblings, one parent and one grandparent left. The loss of grandparents and parents started removing the glue that brought our families together. Steve’s family gave up trying. For my siblings we made it even more important that we stick together. Of our kids, one is in Vermont, 2 in Madison and 2 in Milwaukee. Each one has a step family and a significant other so each has to juggle the holiday visiting. Rarely do we get them all together at one time but we do the best we can.

Now I need to finish decorating the tree and writing out those cards. I hope you have a great holiday!

Warm wishes to you and your family!

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