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It's never too late to start a new Christmas tradition...

Happy Wednesday readers...Christmas draws near! However, you still have a couple of weeks to wrap up your holiday shopping...right? How is your patience holding up? Have you a heart full of anticipation? What makes this time of year so special to you? Do you have traditions, specific to this holiday? If so, were they passed on to you from someone else or did you create them? Do they emit certain emotions when you think back on them? If you are still creating those heartfelt traditions, does that help to savor and enjoy this time of year for you? I would love to sit a spell with you, over some hot chocolate, to hear what you have to say about what this holiday season evokes in you...and yet, I have an idea!!!

To shake things up a bit, I thought I would offer up some thoughts on just the subject from a few women, in my circle of friends. And, as I pondered who I might ask, these three particular women came to mind immediately. As their stories are in no particular order, without further ado, I give you a little glimpse into their personal holiday traditions. Please meet Deb, Kerry and Kathy.

My friend, Deb, shared several traditions from way back, when her two daughters were young. Family holiday celebrations started out at Deb's in-laws home on Christmas Eve, beginning with mass at the church Jim's (Deb's hubby) parents attended, followed up at their home with a birthday cake for Jesus. Their girls got to blow out the candle and no doubt there was cake... And yet, Deb says that cashews were the big treat; serving size?... "as many as one could eat!" One of the endearing traditions was that for 10 years, Deb's in-laws would give each granddaughter a Santa Bear (remember those from Hudsons department store?) and that the girls had to search for them throughout the house, each year. The guise was that the bears were "Santa's early present". Christmas morning was really laid back and casual; pj's being the attire for the day and Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (yes, those ones you pop open and bake!). Once the presents were opened, it was Christmas movies on the television, h'orderves on a blanket in the living room AND...more cashews! Did you notice the recurring theme with the cashews! By the time you read this, both of her girls (now in their 40's and kids of their own) received (from me :)) a bag of cashews and a container of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, anonymously of course. Why not acknowledge these wonderful traditions!!!! Thank you Deb. I loved hearing these stories. I knew you'd come through.

My friend, Kerry, offered up a really sweet sentiment from her childhood. Beginning every Christmas Eve, as Kerry was growing up, her mom prepared and baked a chicken pot pie for the immediate family. It was around this particular dinner that commenced the time to gather and open gifts. This warm and simple meal was the initial assent to Christmas morning, whereby the parents and "kids" loaded up in the family car to make the long and anticipated trek from Michigan to Ohio; celebrating Christmas at Kerry's grandmother's farm! Since then, Kerry has maintained the Christmas Eve "Chicken Pot Pie" tradition with her son, Devin; thus, carrying this tradition beyond the time her mother passed away. And, Devin has picked up the pot pie mantle, bringing the past into the present! I take it that this is a very fond memory and certainly a reminder of Christmas Eve's past. Thank you Kerry for sharing such a sweet story from your childhood. Being intune to all the recent events in Kerry's life will no doubt give opportunity for new traditions. I do believe a future post is forthcoming.

My friend, Kathy, had lots to say about traditions...and I am not surprised. So, her family's Christmas Eve starts out with a polish dinner and Kathy "lights the way" (her driveway I surmise...for her guests) with luminaries and she maintains that the evening is very low key and relaxing. I imagine this would include a fire in the fireplace, but this was not confirmed (lol) . This same evening, once bellies are full and jovial exchanges are heard, everyone loads up in the car to drive around and enjoy Christmas lights, in neighborhoods nearby. Another longtime tradition Kathy has brought forth to this day is baking sugar cookies and decorating them with her family. Her mother started this when Kathy was little and her mom still joins in on the fun to this day. Thank you Kathy, as I knew you had a number of traditions to share.

If I could add a comment here about these women, I'd like to mention that each of these women exemplify the remarkable gift of entertainment/hospitality in their home. To be a great entertainer requires that you be innately tuned-in to your guests. There are those, however, that have a sensibility about them that just knows what they are doing!!! (another blog post for sure). More specifically, it isn't just the meal itself, but all the preemptive strikes that occur to make these occasions memorable to family and friends. Table settings and decorations set an ambiance that makes people comfortable and want to linger. And, all of that adds a layer of warmth and comfort that embodies this particular holiday. Do you agree? And, I can attest to all of this, because I have been a guest in their home at one time or another. Moreover, though they are different in personality and certainly their style/approach to entertaining is unique to them, they truly are the quintessential entertainer of guests.

Thank you ladies for letting me in on your personal stories. It was a honor and privilege to write a few words about you.

I hope these stories sparked some fondly held memories for you. Or, perhaps something resonates or strikes a cord within, to create something brand new for you to initiate a tradition. So, even if you don't have one, whether you be young or of a certain age, it's never too late to start a new holiday tradition.

Thank you so much for reading this little post today. Until next time, may you experience all the fullness of this Christmas season, Jeanine

P.S. Don't miss out on some good news about your early morning routine and those seasonal winter blues know they are a comin!!!

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