During this time of year, I tend to get a little sentimental.
For me, Christmas is all about the traditions that we share with our family and friends.

I look back at the traditions of my past like gathering at my Grandma’s house and singing Christmas carols around the piano and all the Christmas concerts that I used to preform in as a child.

I am reminded of how life as changed as I think back upon all the Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties that Jeff and I used to attend as a newly married couple.

And I can’t help but smile when I think about all the traditions that we have started with our kids. Like making cookies for Santa, talking about Advent and baby Jesus, going to church on Christmas Eve with friends, the pure delight and joy of the kids on Christmas morning and just being able to gather with family spending time together.

But this year, when I think about all these traditions that this time of year brings, I not only smile about them but I say of prayer of thanks for them. I am just grateful to have all my family and friends around me.

In these days and weeks leading up to Christmas, there has been a lot of sadness surrounding my life. I go online and read a story of a mother losing her child in a tragic accident. I go into work and watch a family looses their father, and another family learns there is nothing else we can do to heal their mother. I hear about people not able to afford presents or food for their kids. I know of marriages hanging on by a thread.

It is just so sad.
It seems unfair.
It seems wrong.
It just shouldn’t happen,
especially so close to Christmas.

But sadly, this is part of life. Life is full of good things and bad.

So this year, when we celebrate Santa and the birth of Jesus, I am going to try and smile just a little more. I am going to hug my family a little closer. I am going to try and enjoy and take in every minute, even the ones that stress me out. I am going to pray a little more.
And most of all, I am just going to be thankful for the time that we have together.

From my family to yours I wish you all a Blessed Christmas
and a very Happy New Year!

And I am going to end with four people that bring me endless amounts of joy and laughter.


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