Our only son has left home and is now in the military, but we were treated to a relatively last minute short Christmas visit. We really hadn’t planned on doing much as he wasn’t gong to be a part of the holiday. With the news, of course, we wanted to pull out all the stops to make it special for him upon his return. This year was a time to bring back the traditions that are the most important to us and to leave the rest for another time. When given the brevity of the visit and the amount of merriment we could squeeze in, it made me think about what really are our traditions we most savor.
Our roof is always lined with white lights and red net lights on the landscaping. The front flower bed changes yearly, but I always have a theme of red, white and different colors of green. The front door has a wreath, an undermat of plaid, a festively printed welcome mat and lanterns full of gleeful balls and bells.
The tree is always overdone with multitudes of ornaments, ribbons and fronds. The soldiers from our nutcracker collection were located in unexpected spots around the house. This year I didn’t pull much more out, except for one special “Dancing Santa” that has his place of honor.
Although we weren’t home a lot, we still had roasted turkey, Grandma Della’s cornbread dressing, Aunt Jan’s squash casserole and the standard vegetable, green beans. We made George Washington’s eggnog (and let it get stronger and stronger over the period), Grandma Joyce’s peanut butter cookies and enjoyed Grandma Elaine’s tree and star shaped sugar cookies with red sprinkles.
We drove River Oaks to view the spectacular lights while enjoying our eggnog and peanut butter cookies. Yes, this we do every year! For the first time, we went to the stunning Botanical Gardens light display. This will absolutely be a new tradition! Both Grandmothers were visited and we enjoyed connecting with close friends. Of course, there’s the last minute shopping, the first shared cups of seasonal coffee and plenty of holiday music throughout.
Being together, sharing with friends and family and enjoying the spirit of the season was the most important to us. Shopping and gift giving were not front and center, but enjoying the time along with our most important traditions were a perfect way to spend our holiday.