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December: Traditions or No?


What does the month of December mean to you? Is it happy, sad, full of anxiety or expectations? What do you look forward to, if at all?


Does the familial norms you grew up with still resonate or have you changed, added or removed traditions?


The "traditions" I prefer is having family together on Christmas Eve for a meal and instead of gifts, bringing one meaningful gift for a gift game (this of course excludes children). I also love to drive around and view the decorations and lights. These are the only things I prefer.


The Christmas Eve traditions stems from my youth. My mother worked nights at the US Post Office and as a single mom worked on Christmas day to get the triple pay to help with our finances. I spent those Christmas days with cousins which meant so much to me as an only child. The driving around and looking at lights on Christmas Eve were a favorite of my mother's as she was Deaf and had bad eye sight. The lights were something she could see well and enjoy.


The gift game is something I learned about as an adult... it was actually a "white elephant" gift game, but I changed this so as more people were added to our family - the obligation to get everyone a gift on tight budgets would not be overwhelming. Before that we used to pull names on Thanksgiving so that we were still only buying one gift. We had so much fun trying to figure out who had who. It is hard when some of the kids had nothing extra to spend and others did. I really wanted it to be fair and stick with them as they became adults. I felt it fostered a feeling of togetherness and less of the stress of trying to buy or make presents for everyone.


Unfortunately, my traditions have been swept away and I struggle to know my place during this time of holidays. This will be my first Christmas married to my love. Although we have been together for over 8 years, we really have not established any traditions together. Guess it's time to start.


As you all prepare to see this year to the end, I wish for peace and happiness to be mingled with your plans.


PammyJ



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by Pamela Perkins

Louisville, CO USA

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