Spending the weekend packing up 2015 and all the holiday gear. I gave up a long time ago on trying to be one of those Pinterest-esque moms that go all out for the holidays, with their over the top decorating, holiday craft and cookie sessions with their kids. I haven’t sent out Christmas cards in 20 or more years. Been a long, long time since I crafted perfectly decorated sugar cookies…well, maybe I never really did that ever.
But in looking it all over this year, we do have a couple of traditions that I truly treasure and am pretty proud of if I do say so myself.
First off are the nutcrackers. On my son’s first Christmas my dad sent him a set of nutcrackers. He sent another set the following year. At some point we decided we would continue this yearly tradition for him and as he approaches his 23’rd birthday, there are now 22 nutcrackers in all. My dad passed this year but my son has a little piece of him in his collection.
Lord only knows when I will get him to take them away to his home, he isn’t quite in that phase of life yet. Except that I know how I am and I will miss the nutcrackers terribly! They have been a part of my Christmas now for 22 years! May have to start my own collection.
Then there is this hummingbird’s nest. Again, back when my son was just a baby, we had a motel and a store in a ski area. Our house was a part of the motel and right in front of the main picture windows in the living room were two large pine trees. We had the honor of watching a hummingbird build it’s nest and raise her babies right up against the glass of our window. They were totally protected from the elements and within our perfect view. We keep it protected in a little box and it is the first thing that goes onto our tree each year. It takes us back to those early years in Colorado where so much of our life changed and evolved.
And last but not least is our table cloth. This is the table cloth’s 9th year. We started this tradition the year we moved to Texas to help Bob’s mom out. We bought a good quality cotton table cloth and we put it out on the table for the guests that were with us that year to sign and date. Now, I have to admit, I have a love hate relationship with this tablecloth. I hadn’t realized how much I don’t really care for stitching! But I truly love everything else about it. It entertains us all each year when we break it out.
Just on this one cloth, over the past nine years, is reflected the growth and development of my children and nieces, an old girlfriend of my son’s, now gone, one divorce, the delicate (and extremely tiny to stitch!) cursive letters of my mother and law that is no longer with us.
It is especially funny to see the random things the kids have written over the years. My son, after his first year in Texas, cautioned others to not eat menudo. I have no idea when he ever had any or that he ever had an experience that was so traumatic that he felt he had to warn others! Our Christmas baby wishes herself a happy birthday, noting the number each year, “Big 12”, “pre-teen!” and so on. This year our youngest expressed her concern over the possibility of Trump becoming president. Classic, funny family stuff.
So maybe my Pinterest skills are lacking, but I think I have done alright on the tradition part! Just like the tablecloth, 2015 was full of change; both goodness and heartbreak. I am happy to be putting it all away, cleaning and gently wrapping each item; cleaning the house, cleaning our slate. Ready for 2016.
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