I’ve been pondering lately on the way a family changes over the years. Children growing up, marrying, moving away, families growing and evolving as we welcome new friends and relations, losing loved ones, welcoming newborns. It’s a testament of the love we have for each other when a family is able to stay close through all these changes. And a real challenge to hold onto our traditions, letting some go when we must, and creating new ones.
As our children began to grow up it didn’t take long to see that Christmas morning was getting shorter and shorter as the gifts became smaller and more expensive, thus less plentiful.
What’s a parent to do? Get sneaky, that’s what.
We started “Santa Clues”. Yep. Every Christmas Eve we would take our gaily wrapped bags and boxes from under the tree and hide them everywhere! Once or twice we even hid some outside on warmer Christmases. <g>
The kids would come downstairs to a pile of little white strips of paper with what we thought at the time were cleverly written “clues” to where they could find a present. Sometimes we hid one for each of them in the same place, sometimes not. Either way, there was tons of laughter and activity as they tried to figure out the rhymes pointing them in the right direction, with mom and dad calling out “hot” or “cold” as they skittered through the house in their stocking feet and pj’s.
But wait! They couldn’t open the gifts as they found them. Nope. They had to bring them back to the tree, then when all, the gifts were found we would sit down together and take turns opening them. Honestly, it didn’t take all that long in the mornings, but the fun and laughter and late night clue writing sessions will last in our memories for years to come.
Other family traditions have had to evolve over the years, but we still make time for them, and the warm, treasured memories they bring. Decorating the tree as a family and then sitting down to watch one of our favorite Christmas movies still happens, just maybe not both on the same night. It’s the love and togetherness that matter – no matter what you’re doing.
We don’t do Santa Clues any longer now that the kids are grown, but we do have a stack of white paper strips tucked into a box waiting for the next best thing to come along … grandchildren!
photo courtesy of: http://www.freefoto.com/preview/90-04-53/Christmas-Tree-and-presents