Saturday, December 12, 2015

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

I celebrate Christmas but I recognize that others don’t and I’m okay with that. So I’m more than willing to wish a Happy Holidays to those who celebrate Chanukkah or Kwanzaa or some other variety, or nothing at all. To those who do celebrate it: Merry Christmas!

That’s really not relevant to anything else, but I wanted to say it.

With all of the gang gathered here last year, there was barely room
for all the stockings on the mantle.
This year Christmas is going to be different for us (my husband and I). For the last forty-some years, Christmas for our family has centered around our house, the one our children grew up in. The presents accumulated under our tree and everyone gathered here on Christmas Eve to hang stockings and then again on Christmas morning for cinnamon rolls and breakfast quiche before present-opening would begin. There’s always been lots of loud music, raucous games, laughter, and activity.

Even as our kids grew up, got married, and began their families, we always had one or more of them, with spouses and babies, here for the day. This year will be different. Our youngest daughter lives in northern Indiana and had her third child this year. It’s no longer practical for them to travel hundreds of miles each way to spend the holiday with parents.

Our only son moved to England some ten years ago, and married a lovely young Englishwoman. They have an 18-month-old daughter and a second child on the way. They actually did fly over for Christmas last year, but this year they’ll spend the holiday with her family in Kent.

Fortunately our oldest daughter lives close by, so we’ll likely go to her home Christmas morning, taking along our gifts. We’ll join her, her husband, two grown children, and her adult stepdaughter. Dinner will be at our place, since they don’t have a dining area large enough to accommodate everyone.

I’m really very glad that all of my kids have grown up to be wonderful people, and I’m thrilled they’ve all found someone to love, who loves them in return. I’m delighted to be grandmother to six lovely kids (and counting). This is what every parent wants for their children.

But it will still be an oddly quiet Christmas. On the other hand there should be more time for reading and writing.

Who knows? Maybe next year we’ll travel ourselves and celebrate Christmas on Indiana or in England.



  1. Karen, I understand completely the change in your holiday celebration. My two sons live away and our gatherings have changed over the years. We now get together before Thanksgiving or Christmas to allow our families to be with their "other" families. My husband and I accept this situation, but I sure do miss having everyone at our home. Merry Christmas to you and to your family.

  2. We too had to adjust our Christmas traditions as our children grew and began families of their own. We are holding onto our Chridtmas Eve family broouhah with both hands a although we had to move it to 2pm so that our kids could also do Christmas Eve with their in laws. But we adjust. Christmas is family and the Lord. We spend it with Him after our family leaves

    Merry Christmas Karen.

  3. I so identify with this, Karen. We never know exactly when or where our Christmas will be. We celebrate it whenever we can all be together and try not to stress the kids if they aren't with us on Dec. 25. I do miss having everyone in the pew with us on Christmas, though. Merry Christmas to all those you love.

  4. I've really struggled with the changes time and circumstances have brought to my family Christmas celebrations - tradition, darn it! But with one son and his family living more than an hour's drive east of Toronto and another about the same distance west, it seems to be more difficult with each passing year to gather the clan together. (And that's assuming our Canadian winter weather cooperates!) A few years back we settled on celebrating brunch at the home closest to the middle and it seems to work best. I'm grateful and happy just to see everyone together. Thanks for sharing your plans, Karen! And Merry Christmas or happy holidays to all.

  5. Hi Karen--
    What a lovely photo of your mantel and all those stockings. I know it is oddly quiet for you, but I believe your children and grandchildren will be thinking loving thoughts of you two. Merry Christmas.