Traditions bring calm, joy and feel like a big hug of love surrounding you. We were lucky to begin a new tradition once Giovanni and Isannah were well enough and at home to be a part of it. Every Christmas Eve, thanks to our beautiful friends/neighbors/family really, they began coming over to our house with their youngest son to exchange presents for the little ones. We got to share hugs and conversation. It was the best having them in our home which allowed me to begin another tradition of taking pictures with the kids together and with the Falcone’s together. That made me so happy to be able to capture those moments. Each year this happened even when they welcomed their daughter who joined the tradition with us. The tradition continued for all the kids up until their son who started it all with us got older. He was 10 years or so and stopped coming but the tradition continued even through COVID. Although not inside our home or by our Christmas tree we still meet outside. The feeling is still the same because we get to share the joy of giving and the love of friends.
Now my kids are turning 11 years old, about the age that their son was when he stopped joining. I’m hoping that no matter the age or the years that pass this tradition carries on. Maybe not with exchanging gifts but with the love of friendship that has grown stronger as each year passes. The fondness of friends that are now our family.
Right now they play outside when it’s warm and even when it’s cold. They laugh, they scream, they get out of control but they still play together and I love hearing and knowing they are there.
Giovanni and Isannah will start middle school next year but I hope the friendship they each developed through the years will be remembered always no matter the years that pass by. Maybe they won’t be playing on the streets all together like they do now but the respect and love will always be there.
Until the ages start to show, I will enjoy every moment that we have now.
My heart is so happy that the friend I met in elementary school is still a constant in my life. She gifted all of this to me and my family and I am forever grateful.
Traditions are so important to me especially when they bring family together. Making special memories with my mom walking each procession every year. Bringing Giovanni and Isannah with me, so they too, can experience these moments with their Nonni and all the family that comes together. Moments that become memories that will grow each year as they do. Bringing Giovanni and Isannah to church with me to experience the beautiful services. I love knowing that they can listen to the messages and allow it to carry in their hearts. All the traditions big or small, they are lasting and remain in our heart and memory.
They lift us on the days when we are feeling down. They bring a smile to my face when I find it hard to smile on my own.
Traditions for and during the holidays. The same foods, the decorations, the family games, music and laughter that are always present during this time. Even when the year is hard and the fear is great, or when there is an empty place or two at the table, the comfort and love of the holidays bring us hope for a better tomorrow, all while embracing and appreciating what we have now. I look out and see faces staring back at me and all I can do is smile because this will be a new memory because of these traditions.
There is another new one that is very special and dear to my heart. It started when Giovanni and Isannah were just born. My childhood friend and her family, who we are blessed to have as neighbors too, came over at Christmas. They brought gifts for the kids and stayed with us for a little. This became a beautiful tradition that still happens every year because of the kindness and heart they share with us. All the kids open their gifts and share a moment together. We take family pictures by our tree and just feel the warmth and happiness of their company. They are friends who are family and that will never change.
This year was different thanks to 2020 but it didn’t change our tradition. Our friends made it happen again. Thankfully the weather held up and we were able to meet outside with masks and distance. We stayed safe and just had our special time. The kids played together and laughed. I stared out at them and couldn’t believe how big they all are now. How small they were when it all started. Their daughter wasn’t born yet but their younger son was always with us. Now their son has grown and their daughter took his place in our tradition.I still have the first gift that our friends brought for the kids. Two little picture Christmas Stocking ornaments. One pink one and one blue. To this day they hang proudly on our tree with a picture of Giovanni and Isannah in each one.
Traditions mean the world to me. I hope Giovanni and Isannah will feel the same and keep every memory in their heart so that they will carry these traditions as they grow each year.
We all have different beliefs but traditions are what you make them to be.
Create them, old or new, carry them and keep them going and growing.