Holiday, Life

Merry Christmas!

I came to the realization last month that I’ve been very blessed to grow up in a happy family and have so many wonderful holiday traditions. As long as I can remember, we’ve listened to Harry Connick Jr. while putting up the Christmas tree. We drove through neighborhoods in rain, sleet and snow to look at Christmas lights. We lit candles every Sunday through the month of December and talked about different aspects of the Christmas story. We made Christmas cookies of some kind. We woke up early on Christmas morning and sat at the top of the stairs until Mom and Dad let us loose on the presents. We spent time with extended family during the holidays and there were grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins to see. I have so many warm memories of my childhood during this season, tinted by a magical Christmas glow (which was probably the Christmas lights). And this year I’ve realized that I’m so blessed to have them, because not everyone does.

One tradition my family has kept up for a long time is our Christmas Eve trip to the barn. For as long as I can remember, we bundled up after Christmas Eve dinner and made our way down the road to this barn. It’s cold, dark, sometimes snowy, and usually filled with cows and hay. And we all sit on hay bales, wrapped up in blankets, and read the Christmas story by flashlight. Sometimes the cows insert their opinion with a loud moo. And then Grandma pulls out her CD player and we sing along to this song:

This will be the third year that I’ve missed the barn for another event. Being married is hard sometimes, especially when it comes to Christmas traditions and blending my traditions with his. He doesn’t like my Harry Connick Jr. which has caused some issues. But my goal isn’t to recreate the same Christmas as my family. My goal is to create our own Christmas, filled with our own traditions that our kids will look forward to someday. I want to have the smells and tastes and sounds that they will associate with warm memories and twinkly lights. And here at our third Christmas together, I think we are well on the way to having some Watkins Family Traditions.

So tonight, when we get home after all our Christmas Eve visiting, we will sit together with some steaming hot chocolate and watch It’s A Wonderful Life, just like we did last year. And tomorrow we’ll do Christmas day like we did last year. And someday, these will be warm memories too.

Merry Christmas! I hope you have some happy Christmas memories to fill your mind and if you don’t, I hope that God will bring you some this year!

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