Take Time to Make Memories and Honor Traditions at Holidays

December 22, 2015

All this hustle and bustle and holiday cheer is wearing me out.

Please don’t misunderstand and start thinking I’m Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about Christmas – church service, the tree, the lights and the food. MmmMmm, fun. MmmMmm, good. 

Sharing the holidays with my family and friends is one of my favorite things to do. Christmas is the one time of the year that no matter how busy people are, they make at least a little time for others. Trust me. We’re all working parents of children and time is not something we have a lot of. Spending time together is good for us. Of course, we all sit around and talk about our children. And that’s wonderful.

I think I’m especially looking forward to this Christmas because I have two children and my husband Kent to share the time with. This is 2-year-old Owen’s third Christmas and eight-month-old Brooklynn’s first. They’ll love the bright lights, the wrapping on the presents and the excitement of the day. And it’s true, I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when they open what Santa brought them. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, Santa is flat worn out and really needs to get on it.

In addition to sharing Christmas Day with them, I’m looking forward to sharing Christmas traditions with them. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights or Kwanzaa, chances are, your celebrations are based on tradition.

I want my children to know the importance of tradition. I want them to know the Raynor and Lackey traditions. Kent’s parents – John and Teri – wrapped each of their children’s presents. My sister Cam and I each had an area of our living room where Santa put our presents. Well, that’s where he put the good presents and then my parents – Rick and Josie - added clothing and underwear and socks.

Cam and I would wake up in the middle of the night, play with our toys for a while and then go back to sleep. Then we’d wake up at what my parents thought was a more reasonable hour and open our stockings while they drank coffee.

I love remembering those special times growing up. They make me happy, eventually. Initially Christmas music makes me sad. My mom died 14 years ago on Nov. 28. That makes getting into the Christmas spirit a little difficult each year. Now I have my children, and I want them to learn the old traditions and help me and their dad create new ones they can share with my grandchildren.

My mom loved Christmas. Every year, she spread Christmas cheer throughout our house with wreaths, homemade ceramic snowmen and santas. She placed a large Santa rug in the living room and a wood ladder with Santa on it, which she leaned against the tree. I have many of those decorations and hope to use them to make memories for my children. That is a tradition that would honor my mother’s memory and her love of the Christmas season. I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas!

Melanie Raynor is the Marketing Coordinator at Wilson Medical Center.