Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Tradition of Love

It's a new month, and there's a new feeling in the air.  The holidays are upon us with full force.  Besides the usual onslaught of twinkle lights, toy guides, and maddening traffic, one thing stands out as a hallmark of the season, this end of year wrap-up:  Family.  Holiday traditions, born of childhood memories and nostalgia, are made magical when surrounded by those you love.  In November and December, activities become more about who you are with, that what you do.  Plans are carefully laid for far-flung family members to gather together to share in each other's company.  Meals are shared, gifts are exchanged, requisite family photos are taken - all in the name of good cheer.  

I think back upon all of the holidays of the past - my sisters and I dressed in our finest matching homemade reindeer sweaters - posing patiently for the family card photo.  I remember the Thanksgiving when my mom let us pick a dish we wanted at the dinner, and we feasted on pizza rolls and tacos.  I can still feel the emotions of going around the dinner table on Thanksgiving, each person expressing what they were thankful for - the health of recently sick family, cuddles from the cat, the peace of all being together, the good grades in school, and recently - the little healthy baby growing in my sister's belly.  I remember vividly the year I came home from my freshman year at UGA, and the sense of joy filling inside me, to be sitting at the table, reunited with the family that I thought I was too cool for just the year before.  I remember the year it snowed on Christmas - even in Tennessee.  I still cling relentlessly to following old traditions, reenacting that little piece of childhood that springs to life during this time of year and fills me with hope, longing, and delight.

As I've grown older and gotten married, things have changed, just a little.  I now have two families to call my own, the celebrations multiplied and the happiness expanded and intensified.  We now have two little nieces who are surrounded by love.  This year they will join in old traditions, and will soon enough start some of their own.  We will probably skip the tacos and go for turkey, but one thing remains the same:  I am who I am because of my family.  I'm reminded by their love and support daily, and this season, I'm celebrating it. 

[this ran on 11.11.10 in the newspaper]


  1. awe claire! That got me a bit choked up! I remember those sweaters :) I can't wait for Lylers to experience this season with us and for her to learn the traditions I still hold close. Love you and see you next week!

  2. Your fam is adorable! We have a lot of similar traditions minus the tacos. I'm pretty pumped about having Gabe join the party.

  3. Absolute Beautiful.
    (Now repeat that 7x's, because I really do mean it.)

    I am hosting Thanksgiving and have SO very much to do; thank you for reminding me of "the why." :)

    ...unrelated, I like your sister's purple jacket!

  4. This is so cute. Love all the different things you guys do in front of the tree.

    If I looked through my family's pictures, I think I'd find some winners. I was always the girl in the front with her undershirt hanging out of her sweatshirt :)

  5. awww.... love the old photos. My brother and I had matching reindeer outfits one year, too.


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