The Holidays are Coming, the Holidays are Coming: Reflections on Holidays Past (and Also, Gift Guides are Here)
The Holidays are Coming, the Holidays are Coming! Yes, this was said in my Paul Revere voice (i.e. “The British are coming, the British are coming,” in case you missed the reference). And no, “Holidays” doesn’t refer to some super cool new family PCSing to our neighborhood — although that would be an AWESOME last name to have, amirite? (*Briefly considers name change and how to get the husband on board*).
Anyway, this year flew by like a flash. Is it just me, or does time seem to speed up as we age? I had a similar conversation with a co-worker this week over lunch and arrived at the conclusion that time hasn’t developed a superpower, but rather that, as we age, we become more cognizant of time and just how precious it is. We watch classmates mature and start families (via social media, of course), our children grown up, our military spouses near retirement age, and we realize time simply slows down for no man.
I suppose retailers are picking up on this too, because they appear to be targeting customers earlier every year. I was briefly confused, for example, in October when the first Christmas commercial aired on our local television station. To be honest, the commercialism does rob the holidays of their magic. This can be especially true for military families who often face the very real reality of celebrating without one or both parents or in a foreign place. So, how do you bring back the magic?
Growing up, my mother always filled shoe boxes with goodies, instead of stockings, in a tradition carried on from her mother. She’d also wake us up early Christmas morning to listen to her read the Bible and share with us the story of Jesus’ birth. We would then head over to my grandparents’ house (grandad is a pastor) to commune with my father’s side of the family before concluding the day with a visit to our cousins and a dance off in my aunt’s living room.
Now, as the wife of a chaplain, far removed from my birth home of Mississippi, those traditions have changed. In addition to attending Christmas Even and Christmas Day chapel services and families of the deployed events, I’m trying to find ways to create traditions for our own little family.
Does your family have special traditions you adhere to no matter where you are? Do you prearrange Skype time on Christmas day or even go so far as to bring your spouse on stick with you to all of the holiday parties? I’d love to hear the unique ways you celebrate!