It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Christmas is my favorite holiday and I always look forward to the wonder, excitement and tradition that accompany it. As a parent, I love remembering how I felt as a child and welcome the warm glow of memories from Christmases past.
Every year on Christmas Eve, my grandparents hosted a wonderful party to celebrate with the entire family. Considering that they had nine children and more than 40 grandchildren, our family was quite large. Many of them had spread their wings across the country so this was often the only time of year that we saw each other. The house always buzzed with excitement! Grandma Roughton was perpetually busy in the kitchen with her mom creating a delectable meal while my parents, aunts and uncles reconnected over endless card games. Pounds of Grandpa’s exquisite homemade sweets disappeared into the mouths of dozens of kids high on sugar and anticipation. The magic of the season hung in the air.
As the years passed so did the torch of tradition. Aging grandparents and the exponential growth of our family gave birth to new Christmas traditions as the next generation of grandparents accepted the reins. As teenagers, our celebrations at my father’s home shared the same palpable fervor of anticipation. Each year brought new family members as my six siblings and I married and had children of our own.
Recently I accepted the torch to carry on the traditions started so long ago. Now each year, our family gathers in my home, building new bonds of love through another generation. We watch as the children bound exuberantly through the house comparing Christmas lists and negotiating with cousins who feel more like siblings. This wonderment isn’t lost on their parents as we revel in each other’s company, soaking in the magic of today, and pondering the expectant hopes of Christmases future.
Please take time this season to savor its magic. Look for the joy in the chaos that sometimes accompanies the preparation and remember to focus on the values that guide you as a parent. Know that you, too, are creating memories for your children that will last a lifetime.
– Nichole Enerson, MA, LLPC, CPST