As a lot of you know my folks moved away from their family in Montana over 50 years ago “North to Alaska” where I was born and raised and that’s where a lot of our traditions started.
When you are a transplant away from your bio family, you MAKE your own family. I was always a little jealous of my cousins who got to spend the holidays with my grandparents in Montana but we had our own traditions of celebrating with other families that became ours.
What we got in return for being far away…the big box of presents from Montana with my favorite present of all, a Christmas tree ornament from whatever special trip my grandparents took that year. Paul and I have continued that tradition and our Christmas tree is NOT a glamour tree but a hodge podge filled with ornaments from my childhood, our own travels and our kids creations.
Mom was the BEST christmas present wrapper and would take time and energy to even curl the bows just so. She always answered the phone “Merry Christmas” starting on Dec 1st and when asked why so early, she would say, this is the day Lord has made…let us rejoice and be glad in it! Mom did it all December long.
Many of us have lost people the past few years and I am finding traditions are even more important after they are gone. This is our second year without mom and I am carrying on every one of hers…opening jammies on Christmas Eve, “chip and dip” appetizer, scavenger hunt on Christmas morning, her famous egg casserole and “table presents”.
When I married an Englishman, we added roasted potatoes, parsnips and Yorkshire pudding to our traditional Christmas dinners.
Our new tradition we started last year is “what would Gramie” think about this year and what new thing would she be doing? Mom was a lifelong learner and she was such a great example of a human “becoming” NOT just a human “being” She tried to learn something new every day and LOVED meeting new people and having true connections with them. That is one gift she passed on to me that has blessed my life abundantly.
Another one Mom would love is the new tradition we started last year. The boys gave Ciara and I the best Christmas present ever…they made a Tik Toc video with us. Even my dad participated and he and I are not the most coordinated of dancers. The gutteral belly laughs I have had watching that video over and over have been priceless. That is a new tradition we will definitely be continuing this year.
My best friend lost her cancer battle in February this year and we had such a fun tradition of girls lunch and Christmas shopping/coupled with celebrating her birthday this month. I miss her so much but I find such comfort in talking about her and the so many amazing chances to live life together that we did have.
I am amazed at how God has brought new people in my life this year that have such similar stories of loss and yet have been able to overcome their grief and honor their loved one by persevering through the pain and finding even greater blessings as a result. God has always met me more than half way during every challenge I’ve faced and my prayer is that he can do the same for you.
We have another tradition that rather annoys my kiddos at times but as we’ve continued year after year, I’ve started to see them look forward to it. We will continue our ritual this week to finishing up our goals for the new year. My mom was such a cheerleader when it came to this and we would gather magazines and glue and paper and create goal boards together. This year we are adding even more to our planning session and asked 6 questions:
What were your wins from 2020?
What insights have you gained?
What positive changes did you create to reignite your intentions this year
How have moved closer to your ultimate goal?
How committed are you to change?
After answering those questions…THEN we create our goals
I pray you and your family can spend these past few weeks of the year, honoring those you may have lost and keeping them alive in your memories. I pray you spend this week looking for the wins in your own life. I know it may be difficult but if you focus on those instead of the ways life may have let you down, I promise you will be better for it.
I pray you let 2020 be a year that REFINES you and DOES NOT define you.
3 new things I am implementing
- stop taking offense by something another person says or does.
- Have more conversations on the phone and less texts
- Say YES to LESS…say yes to the right things
You are getting this message because you have made an impact on my life and I am so grateful to you. I am going to be 50 in January and am more excited about life than I ever have been and I hope you are too.
More here: https://vimeo.com/494222913
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Blessings to you in this amazing life journey and I hope to see you and connect with you very soon!
I’d Love to Connect with You!
P.S. If you liked this newsletter and genius from our guest, please share with your community… forward it to a friend who always challenges YOU to grow. I hope you have at least one of those people in your life!
P.S.S. Do you have a desire to create a business of your own but have no clue where to start? Come join us at www.perfectsidegigs.com and explore the amazing world of business building and entrepreneurship. Let us help you discover the person you were MEANT to become!