Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Traditions

Changes are all around us, all the time.  In our family, 2013 was a year of a lot of change.  Our son graduated from college and moved to Minnesota; My husband transferred to a new job; I resigned from my 24 year career; and we moved to North Carolina, leaving our daughter at college in Maryland.  "New" and "Different" were the catchwords of the second half of our year for all of us.


I can't speak for the others in my family, but for me, it's been alternately very difficult and very freeing.   There's a lot of opportunity to shed things that weren't working (like the stress of my job) and take on things that are more rewarding (more time spent in my hobby).   But the distance.  Man, the distance. That's been hard.  It's a long way to Maryland to see my daughter.  It's a REALLY long way to Minnesota to see my son.   Our house in NC is very quiet, and I've had some sad moments here, missing my kids.  


And now here we are at Christmastime, feeling our way around all this change, finding the new traditions, trying to keep the heart of it together even if the details change.   I suppose this had to come some time... the thing about kids is they grow up and move out, and whether they've moved down the street or across the country, the Christmas celebrations need to grow, shift, spread out, to accommodate new girlfriends and job schedules and so many other life things.  I guess the circumstances of our particular move to NC or MN is just a detail, the big picture story is the growing up, the spreading out, the adding to of the family.  We've got to grow through this phase if we're to be a healthy and loving family.  We can't resist it and be sad about it, we have to embrace it and work through it and expand into it.


And so this year, in this year of figuring it out and making it work, we are shifting our Christmas celebrations down by a day.  Our son and his girlfriend are flying to NC from MN tomorrow morning, arriving just after noon.   When they touch down, it will be his girlfriend's birthday (a Christmas baby).  So tomorrow we'll have birthday dinner and birthday presents.  And then, like magic, the calendar will shift, and it will become our Christmas Eve night.   We'll put on music, watch movies, play games, eat treats, and await Santa's arrival.  On Thursday morning, it will be our Christmas morning.  We'll do all our Christmas morning things together like we've always done, except it will be better because we'll have our "daughter in spirit" in our family this year too.  And we'll find that change is good.  


I hope that you enjoy a beautiful Christmas celebration filled with the love of family and friends.   

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