Christmas is almost here! With two weeks to go, families are very busy. Children have holiday activities; community events fill the calendar; office parties, friend gatherings, shopping and more keep us on the run!
Often, running through all of this, connecting the dots, is the thread of traditions. Those special activities that we look forward to repeating year after year. Some go back for generations; others are newly created as our families merge and children arrive.
There are trips to the tree farm, lights inside and out, cookies to bake, the crèche to display, a wreath on the front door, a special welcome mat. The stockings to hang, candles to light, special foods to prepare, and carols to sing. The tree seems to get bigger as a young family grows. Taller and more branches…more ornaments and candy canes. Tins of cookies and fudge to feed excited children and deliver to friends and neighbors. More lights for display. More laughter and more special time together. Lots of busy days…lots of giggles and bustling about!
But the wheels of time turn. Families evolve and our lives move along. We can begin to question the time invested in the traditions new and old. Our priorities.
Just like our ramping up from small beginnings, carrying forward and creating our family traditions takes us to the time to right-size our traditions to the next phase of life. I believe in the concept, and I think each of us benefits from keeping what’s most important to our holiday joy in our life at the size that best fits. I no longer bake ten varieties of cookies. Just two or three…in small batches. No more cakes…except for my grandmothers white fruitcake. A smaller tree with my favorite ornaments. A few lights outside; a smaller number of candles and poinsettias inside. Proportionately smaller to the space, energy and number of people in our home.
I want to hold on to memories of my childhood Christmases and preserve special things for my children and grandchildren. But time, energy and space constrain the size of traditions today. I’m in the throes of right-sizing.
Whether you’re growing your holiday memories or holding years of memories close at heart, I hope you find joy in traditions this season.
I hope all of your traditions are the perfect size!