This will be me and Nick's first Christmas in our empty nest.
Our first one without any of our girls sleeping under our roof to wake up with us on Christmas morning. Sigh. Bittersweet for sure. We are finding ourselves in a new season that brings lots of change. Change is the opposite of tradition. And one thing about us Holdens….
We love traditions.
I grew up in a family who loved them and I've continued on many of them with my girls.
We have many. Our High kick tradition. Our porterville night….just to name a couple.
What makes traditions so special? They evoke memories….moments in time that we can go back to in our hearts and minds that tie us together with those we love and hold dear. I can't see a pack of silver tinsel…the kind that's in a box that are stringy individual strands… without it whisking me back to my childhood and our tradition of putting up the Christmas tree together. We always had real trees that my daddy cut down from the woods and decorating it was a big event. Me and my brothers would throw the tinsel on it in clumps and be so proud of it. I never understood how those clumps would magically spread out over the tree in perfect placement overnight as we slept.
Traditions are the glue that keeps a family together. Especially around the holidays. They give us a reason to make family a priority on our calendars when the season gets so jammed packed with places to go and parties to attend…because it's what we've always done….I means, going over to Aunt Dot's for Christmas Eve gumbo is just how you do Christmas. No questions asked. Right?
Well, I want my girls to look back on our holiday traditions with joy and fondness.
I never want our traditions to become burdens and if I'm not careful, as a mom to three grown daughters, that is exactly what can happen.
You see, it is in my nature to want my girls and their husbands at my house for every event over the holidays.
But they're no longer little girls.
They are grown up women who now have two families to celebrate the holidays with. Double the blessing. Double the fun. Double the celebrations. And I am so thankful for that. I'm thankful all three girls have in-laws who are interested in their lives….who want to be a part of their lives. And who also have traditions of their own.
So what does that mean for me and my traditions?
It means sometimes we make new ones if we have to.
It means being flexible. It means not being bound to certain day of the year.
It means if the day we can all actually be together to gather around the table and offer up thanksgiving to the Lord for all He has blessed our family with doesn't happen to fall on the fourth thursday of November, then I'm ok with that. If it means eating etoufee three days before christmas instead of christmas eve….that will be ok too. If it means doing something entirely different all together…then bring it on!
I'm thankful for the work of grace the Lord has done in my heart to free me up! I want to my girls to be freed up too….to be able to enjoy every second that we get together as a family during the holidays. Soaking each other up and time together. And I want them to be able to have wonderful memories and traditions with the other side of the family too the Lord has given to them. I value them so much….my girl's "other" families. They are blessings to me and Nick and we are so thankful for the way they love our daughters.
So when I got my ornament for this year from Lisa Leanord's Designs,
it couldn't be more perfect.
it couldn't be more perfect.
You see, this year my girls all have different last names.
All three of them this Christmas will be a Mrs.
But no matter what, they will always be a Holden.
And that is something that will never change.
Now wether or not they will be here the night I get to hang this lovely on the tree is unknown.
But through God's great grace at work in my heart, either way will be okay.
I pray as the holidays are approaching that you will let God work in your heart too.
To accept things that are new this year in your life that you know are gonna shake up your traditions that you so love and cherish…. Ask God to help you embrace the change instead of just enduring it.
I promise He won't disappoint you.
ps. If you would like a beautiful keepsake ornament to commerate the work the Lord is doing in your heart, Lisa has been so generous to give a discount for y'all.
Use the code VERYMERRY15 for a 15% discount in her shop.
She has gorgeous jewelry too that all have meanings behind them along with a new line of prints and cards that are darling. She is a precious woman of God who loves to make Him known and cherishes her family with a fierce love. Check out her blog and look her up on instagram, I promise she will bless you.