Last night my husband and I drove to the Christmas Eve service just the two of us–the first time in 16 years.
Our teenage daughters drove themselves.
It wasn’t the only thing that’s been different about Christmas this year. The holiday traditions I had worked so hard to maintain for the past 16 years just don’t seem as important.
Our Christmas tree is smaller and simpler, and just as lovely. Two whole boxes of decorations never even made it up from the basement.
Dipped pretzels replaced the cookie bonanza.
Our favorite holiday movies remained in their cases while the Holiday Baking Championship domineered the television.
Our family trip to the Christmas light display lost out to a matinee of Elf the Musical. (See it if you can, delightful.)
The Gingerbread House never even broke ground.
Amazon delivery beat out the local mall, hands down. And one teenager did her Christmas shopping all on her own.
And paid for it herself. (A true Christmas miracle!)
Christmas morning got rescheduled to 10:30 am, no more pre-dawn gift unwrapping. The only surprise was what they did or didn’t get from their “wish lists.”
All these changes are signs that our family is transitioning into the next phase. It’s not just our little tribe anymore. Part time jobs, friends, and even boyfriends, are now part of the equation, with the addition (or subtraction) of college soon to come.
Our family holiday traditions warm my heart, but I’m not going to grieve them. New ones are forming, like the choir’s Christmas Tea, and our mother-daughter night out to a painting party.
You’ve heard the saying: “It’s not the presents under the tree but the presence of the people around it.”
I’ll add “It’s not what you do this holiday season, it’s who you do it with.”
From our family to yours, a very blessed Christmas!