It’s these days, when the air is crisp and cool, and the leaves choreograph that most beautiful autumnal ballet that we start to think about family traditions. The holidays we celebrate are significant, but it’s the people we sit side by side with that fill our wells and recharge our hearts.
There are homemade dishes, the best table settings, a chilliness that keeps us cozied up inside together. This season begs for us to slow down and savor. Savor the smells, the sights, the sounds, the tastes, the moments we tend to miss in the hustle of our daily routines.
As a little girl I looked forward to dragging a sleeping bag into the living room to lay by the fire and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I could count on my mom in the kitchen making hot chocolate and my dad and siblings not far from reach. We stayed in pajamas as long as we could, and the only time we tracked was on the oven. We savored the moments. We ate and rested, and reinvested in what it meant to be a family. Some years others joined us, and occasionally we ventured from our cozy living room into the warmth of a loved ones’ home. But the things that never changed: the parade on television, the hot chocolate, the warm fires...those things are what I hold onto decades later.
As a mom, it’s my turn to create traditions for my family. I get to be the one to start the hot chocolate on the stove, light the balsam fir candle, and cozy up by the fire with my family as we watch the parade. These are the days I will hold onto when all my babies are grown and making new memories in front of their own fires.
In just a few short days the turkey will be stuffed, the sides will be prepared and we’ll sit down to another beautiful Thanksgiving celebration with family. And then, just like that the days will be over and it will be back to the quickness of everyday life. I promised myself that in order to stay present and to hold onto these seemingly fleeting moments I would journal about the best part of my day, each day of the holiday week.
What do you do to stay present in the moment? To hold onto the experiences you wish would never end? What traditions do you and your family celebrate this time of year?
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