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Deep down, most people have dreams - they may be forgotten, unspoken, or unrealized - but they are there. I want to help you remember and believe in them again...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Traditions Matter… pass them on!

This time of year many of us are nostalgic for family, traditions and that lovely Christmas feeling that would typically bring out the best in people - the spirit of the season:  Love, Charity, Humility…

I always loved being home (Clarksburg, WV) for Christmas because for as long as I can remember, it always snowed that magical Christmas snow on Christmas Eve and the sky would be that incredible midnight blue highlighted by white, clear stars.  Visiting longtime family friends and then walking to midnight Mass was the late evening plan that allowed us to savor all that was good and smell that clean air.  Beautiful.  Magical.  Holy.

The family would spend the day on Christmas Eve preparing foods (seven fishes - thanks Uncle Denny) as well as pastas, ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans… you name it and it was on the table.  We would eat around 4pm and then open gifts from each other before heading out to visit friends.

Lovely memories.
Treasured traditions.
It was so fun to open the presents to see what my grandparents had gotten us because they started shopping the day after Christmas the year before and long since forgotten what was wrapped and put away.

Cookie and pie baking.
Taking food to the elderly or less fortunate.

All activity designed to remind us of what truly mattered - family, health, loving one another, blessings, faith and more.

If you watch TV or listen to how many talk about the season, you hear a lot of negativity:  Commercialism, Greed, Spoiled children who have no understanding of the real meaning of the season, traffic jams, rude drivers/shoppers… the list goes on.  And yes, there is some of that.  We've all experienced it or maybe even suffered moments of it ourselves but I don't believe that is the majority of the time.  I think those bad behaviors are the exception not the rule.

I see so much love everywhere I look - when I look.

It's that love that recalls the tradition and stirs the emotion of childhood.  I find now that it's my generation who is reviving the old school traditions… It is after all, up to us to teach and reminisce with the children in our lives so they can experience what we did.  How can they treasure those small things that mean so much to us if we've not taken the time to be with them as our parents and grandparents did with us:  their family stories, their little idiosyncrasies that you now appreciate as Truth… the right way to do anything, etc.  How can we all pass on those moments - creating new ones - while preserving former ones and thus maintaining the tradition, the love, the faith?

Christmas traditions matter.
All traditions matter really.

They have meaning to us.  So as we take down the trees and put away the ornaments, spend the same amount of time carefully wrapping things up as you did putting everything up with your kids.  Do it all together.  Christmas tradition becomes more meaningful when all throughout the year we take time to make moments matter.

As we prepare for yet another NEW YEAR with all the would-be resolutions pending with promise of change… add in one Christmas-like tradition that you can carry forward through the year that demonstrates the depth of love you feel at this time of year.  Pick one thing to teach a child in your life - by example not just by telling.  ;)  Children reflect back what we value.  So let's choose wisely.

Thanks for listening - the children in our lives are (to every word and action).  I hope to hear back from all of you what your beloved tradition is… and what you may carry forward!


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