There's a great deal of pressure, at this time of the year, to say just the right thing, to write something so poignant, so on point, that you know it will resonate with others deeply, a very clear and insightful passage on what has been and what you hope to be. A time to take stock and appreciate the year just passed and create the dreams for the year upcoming. Not an easy task, balancing what has been with what lies ahead.
Every year, when it was his turn to open a gift, my father would bellow out "Christmas is for children" and then put aside his cigar to open his gift, usually a box of cigars, and then he'd nod, "thank you Mother, now Allyson, open something". You know, my father was wrong, and it's not often I admit that. Christmas is about the children and we are blessed to share our season with two amazing little ones, but it is for everyone, and we, as a family, enjoy every bit we can. How grateful I am to experience this magic through the eyes of two four year old girls, a wonderful age for celebrating all that Christmas has to offer.
Of course the challenge lies in balancing Christmas past with Christmas present. At no other time do I miss those who helped create my Christmas memories more, although I know it is because of them that I celebrate today. The girls and I make Mimi's sugar cookies and we hang the ornaments she made on our tree. We fall deep into tradition and ritual at this time, memories being keen guides to the familiarity and warmth of Christmas celebrations.
The girls advent calendar is full of tiny ornaments, they each hang one on the tree every night. We make a gingerbread house every year, we attend church on Christmas eve and we are searching for the perfect dinner to be ours, all soon to be traditions we are creating for Mary and Kate to carry on into Christmas future. Balancing what has been with what lies ahead, that is what we do, although I never, ever smoke a cigar while we open gifts.