Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Wishes and Traditions

The Christmas season can be so busy for all of us. Because of my trip to Florida last week, I'm behind on just about everything I need to get done by December 25th. To those of you who read this blog faithfully, I apologize for missing last weeks Friday blog. I spent the entire day traveling from Orlando to Tampa to visit my grandmother in the nursing home. Here's a pic of me and my grandmother. My grandmother is 89 years young.

As I mentioned in my last blog, my grandmother is an avid reader. She has all my books at the nursing home and passes them on to others to enjoy. I love the idea that so many people are enjoying my stories. One thing that is hard these days is that the small print makes it difficult for her and many other elderly readers to read. That's why I'm happy that Steeple Hill books are available in Large Print as well. If you're a reader who likes to donate books, consider donating them to a nursing home. Many of the residence there will appreciate your kindness in sharing.

As this is my last blog before Christmas, I thought I'd talk a little about tradition. Some of my fondest memories from childhood was Christmas Eve. Being Italian, we always had a big dinner with the 5 fishes. After dinner, we'd each choose one present from under the tree and open it. (None of us could wait until Christmas morning. Especially my father.) Soon after that, my sisters and many of the neighborhood kids would go caroling door to door around the neighborhood. There were many neighbors we never saw throughout the year except on Christmas Eve when we rang their doorbell and sang a song or two. We had a very large neighborhood and it could get quite cold so some of the neighbors would have hot chocolate and cookies waiting for us when we reached their doorstep.

When my sisters and I returned home, with cold hands and wet feet, we'd get ready to go to the midnight church services to celebrate the birth of Christ. As my days seem to never have enough time left in them to do all the things I want, to work, to shop, to clean the house, and to decorate in preparation for the holiday, I'm reminded that the joy I feel this season is not whether or not my kids get everything on their Christmas list or that the house is spotless when my neighbor comes by to exchange cookies and give a holiday greeting. It's the new traditions I am making with my family to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Family is at the heart of those traditions. We still have a special dinner Christmas Eve. We still open "just one" gift. Unfortunately, we don't go caroling anymore. (My kids would be mortified at the thought of doing it, much to my dismay.) Things have changed. Instead of my parents making Christmas for me and my brother and sisters, my husband and I make Christmas for our 4 kids so that when they grow up, they will have warm memories to build their traditions on with their families.

My Christmas wish to all of you is to that you look beyond the holiday rush, the cranky sales clerk who is working too many hours just so we can get all our shopping done, the person who has cut in front of you in line to order take out, the person who took your parking space at the mall, the one who walked back and forth across your clean kitchen floor with snowy boots (the dog counts here too), or whatever it is that is causing you stress to look at the very thing that brings you joy. Those are the things that you'll take with you for the rest of your life when you remember Christmas. It's the little traditions you make with your friends and your family.

Have a wonderful Christmas, filled with love, friendship, and family.

Until next time, many blessings to you all, Lisa

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