Family tradition... counting on the same things happening at the same time of the year with family members. Holidays are when most traditions are established. Traditions are comfortable, they fit, they feel right. Holidays are times when annual traditions feel right.
When we move from our comfort zones, we are out of balance. Try as we might to recreate or create new traditions~it is not an easy task.
Traditions have once again changed for me. This is the first New Year that my son has not been in town to "celebrate" the new year. Our event that we both enjoy is watching the Twilight Zone marathon. There are several episodes that we watched together, but my favorite is "Time Enough at Last". I did get a text reminding me that it was about to come on. Somehow, it is just not the same.
Traditions began changing Christmas 2007. My mom was called to heaven on December 20 of that year. In the ICU, the afternoon of her passing, a nurse held my hand and told me, "You have Christmas at your home, don't you? She would still want you to do that, you know. It won't be easy, but I believe you will find the strength to do it, for her!" Well, I don't know how she knew that, but it was true. Ever since my son was born, May 1984, we ate breakfast at my home Christmas morning. Of course, my parents were in agreement, because Aaron wouldn't have to get out in the cold. Just like great grandparents everywhere, no grandchild of theirs would get out on the most exciting morning of the year. So, for thirteen years, we enjoyed the comfort of our family Christmas breakfast. My brother and sister came in with their hugs, smiles and bags of gifts as well. As the years progressed, my siblings came with their significant others. This was a welcome change in tradition... the more the merrier!
For at least five Christmases, my sister brought her boyfriend/husband. Then one Christmas, she came alone, but my brother invited his girlfriend, soon to be wife. When others joined family, my sister and brother had to share the day with their significant others' families as well. I am sure this had to be difficult for my parents, especially my mom. However, she never mentioned it.
When my mom died, we did have Christmas breakfast that morning. That morning does not stand out in my memory. I just remember the warmth of family and love amidst the tears and hugs. Christmases after have never been the same; don't really expect them to, but I wonder if there will be a new tradition and when it will happen.