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Breaking Traditions

December 26, 2011
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Saturday night we broke with our Christmas tradition and opened presents a day early. The reason for the change was trying to coordinate seven schedules. Since there are only four in our family, you might rightly surmise that we had company. Besides the tradition of having my mom, we also had two special lady friends, the guests of our boys. Breaking some Christmas traditions leaves one feeling like things are not right, but that was not the case for our celebration. 

We sat in our usual circle, with new seats for our guests. We carefully reviewed the rules – each person opens one present while everyone else watches and then we move on to the next person. This process continues until everyone has opened all their presents. 

The presents were a wonderful mix from history to technology; everything from a patchwork quilt pieced by my grandmother and quilted by my father (both in heaven now) to a blue ray disc player. We had store bought treasures from practical dishes to fashionable clothing. We had heart made gifts like soap, pictures, and homemade sauces. Oh, yes, we had some of that all encompassing gift – cash. 

Despite all the love and thought that went into the presents and their wrapping, I found the greatest joy in two other gifts I received that night. One was a number of personal notes tucked into packages and cards: Notes with words like proud, thankful, and love. They were priceless. They went straight to the heart. The other was new people in our circle. I experienced the multiplication of our joy as new hearts and smiles joined our circle. As we shared laughter and tears, our hearts were filled to over flowing. The presents were the conduit through which new relationships were made richer and deeper. 

If I thought it could match the added joy we experienced opening presents one day early, I’d be in favor of opening presents in July! For now I’ll treasure the memories and remember a circle of love need not be restricted to a Christmas tradition.

Photo by Jonathan Assink

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 27, 2011 12:53 PM

    change is hard, but it sounds like good MEMORIES!!

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