Patty and I are at that time in life when the Christmas festivities have slowed down, a least, a little bit. We don’t have as many family obligations and they are for the seceding generations, rather than the preceding ones.
We have also worked to pare things down. Patty doesn’t fix as much food and even fewer Christmas treats. We don’t go as many places or see as many people, but the people we see, the conversations we have, the traditions we keep, are all pleasantly meaningful. (Yes, there are some things I really like about getting older.)
This will be our forty-third year of hosting Christmas eve with our family. I love that our kids and grandkids still want to gather with us. Our daughter, Michelle, her husband, Jared, and our grandson, Sam will not be coming this year, but we were able to gather with them several times recently, including Thanksgiving.
Patty and I have been to the Festival of Trees and will visit the Victorian Durkee Mansion in Kenosha. We will also go to a really cool place for brunch this weekend for our Christmas date, and take in a TSO concert Christmas week. These are all traditions and all are meaningful, but they don’t stress us out because we are not over-scheduling.
I will confess, back when we were a young family and lived away from our parents and were also laden with church responsibilities, it was very different.
Now, I love simplifying things, doing meaningful things, making memories, and building relationships. I know that making a move in that direction can be difficult, especially for young families, but it’s worth a try.
When I reflect on that first Christmas, I think, what a contrast to the way we celebrate it today. It was humble. It was simple. It was difficult. But what happened was also glorious and changed everything.