When I was a little girl, Christmas made me giddy with excitement. Christmas Eve through to Christmas morning, I would wake up every hour throughout the night, asking my mom if we could get up yet. Even before that, when I was four, I came out of the bedroom on Christmas morning, saw the tree and presents, and fainted dead away.
Years later, as a mom of young girls, I would wake up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, so excited for what my children would find under the tree. I was impatient, so I would get up and walk around the house and bang cupboard doors until I managed to wake up the household.
As a grandmother, Christmas traditions had to change. There were now other families involved and sometimes jobs that interfered. Christmas Eve became my time with my daughters and their families, and sometimes Christmas Eve had to take place a few days before the 24th. That’s when I began the tradition of going to a movie on Christmas Day.
Life equals change. As much as I wanted my old traditions to last and last, they didn’t. They don’t. They never will. Grandkids grow up. Children move far away. Sigh.
Now Christmas has changed for my oldest granddaughter, too. She’s a young adult and has to work over the holidays and so can’t go to the mountains with her parents, which is their tradition. So I’ve asked my granddaughter to stay at my house on Christmas Eve and go to the movie with me on Christmas Day. It will be fun, but it will be different for her.
Life equals change.
I still love Christmas. I love the music of the season. I love white Christmases, especially since they are rare here in the valley. I love the goodies that seem to crop up everywhere (man, I miss my mom’s million dollar fudge!). I love my church’s Christmas Eve communion service, so lovely and intimate. And I love going to the movies on Christmas Day. But I also treasure the memories of years gone by. I love looking at the photographs from when I was little and when my daughters were little, and remembering what we used to do over Christmas.
Whatever your traditions, new or old, I hope this Christmas season will be full of joy for you and yours. And if your old traditions have ended, embrace the change.