Sunday, December 8, 2013 - Second Sunday of Advent
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2013
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Traditions are one of those things I don't think I knew my family had until I became an adult -- not an 18 year old adult, I mean a real adult (whatever that is)! I look back on all the things I thought were a normal part of the Christmas season and realize all of those "things" are my family's traditions -- picking out the perfect Christmas tree, adventures to ooh and aah at the neighborhoods decorated in festive lights, cooking every casserole imaginable, and waking up together on Christmas morning.
For most of my childhood my family went to a Christmas tree farm to cut down our very own tree. My mom's idea of a perfect tree was "the fatter the better!" No skinny trees in the Terry household. Often we would get our tree home and my dad would have to trim it down so it would fit in the house. My dad's job was to put the tree in the stand and string the lights. After that, it was on to decorating. My mom wasn't a believer in a themed Christmas tree -- our ornaments were a hodge-podge of purchased and homemade. My favorite (or least favorite) ornament was the red bell cut out of construction paper with my 4th grade school picture laminated on top. Let's just say I was obviously going through an awkward stage, but my mom loved it! Our Christmas trees always included tinsel and colored lights. I remember my dad teaching me how to "properly" throw the tinsel on the tree so you didn't get too much in one area! To my mom, the most beautifully decorated tree wasn't about the perfect ornament or the perfectly themed tree, it was the one decorated by her family!
As I get older and begin to make my own new traditions I realize that my mom was right. Christmas really is all about family. Whether you have the perfect tree, the perfect decorations, or the perfect gift -- those are never what's important. Taking a step back and realizing that traditions, whether new or old, are important to each of us not because of the price or perfection but because of who they involve.
- Karen Terry