Opinion & Editorial

Family traditions are critical part of holidays

This year, I decided to keep my Christmas holiday decorating to a minimum.

The main reason is that, with a new kitten in the house who is experiencing her first Christmas with us, I knew what to expect. So, when I went out to our shed where I have at least four tubs of decorations, I just brought in the lights and ornaments for the tree and a few long-time, durable pieces that would help make the house a bit festive.

The ornaments that I chose for the tree were carefully selected. The extremely fragile 110-year-old Santa Claus that my mother had as a child was left in the storage unit, safely nestled in its box of cotton. 

Gigette watched as I laid down the large, round hooked rug/Christmas tree skirt that I had made when our own children were still at home. I then brought in the five-foot tree and began putting on the strings of lights. Gigette was curious, but seemed strangely content to sit and watch what I was doing instead of trying to insert herself as my helper in every activity I’m involved in around the house. 

Hmmm … maybe the tree would be safe after all! 

Jim has never helped me with the tree after it was set up, but this year, he actually offered to help decorate it. He brought his walker into the living room and I filled the basket on it with the less-fragile ornaments that are not used often. 

By the time we were done, the branches of our little tree were covered with colorful, hanging globes. I plugged in the lights and they brightened up the room with a cheery glow as they always do. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the spirit of Christmas-coming.

I was amazed at Gigette’s seeming-respect for our creation. That evening, she played in her little tunnels in the family room by Jim’s chair and confronted the older cats, teasing Joey until he licked her for a few seconds before swatting her away. The dogs continue to be fair-game for her, too. 

When I got up the next morning, however, as I walked through the dining room and living room on the way to the kitchen, I discovered at least 10-15 ornaments lying scattered across the carpet. 

Jim even found one in the guest bathroom and a broken one in the kitchen. Obviously, Miss Gigette had just been biding her time and planning her attack until after the lights went out the night before.

Yesterday, our great grandsons – 2-year-old Hudson and 4-year-old, Sawyer – came over to visit with their mommy, Linsey Kau. 

After Sawyer studied and came to terms with the workings and technical abilities of our robot vacuum which was busily doing its job when they arrived, I asked the boys to come into the living room with me to help put the by-now Gigette-caused devastation from the night before to rights.

I turned on the Christmas tree lights and they helped me rehang the 20-or-so ornaments back on the tree. When we were done, Sawyer pointed to the top of the tree and asked, “Where’s the star?” 

I had forgotten to put the shining star on the tree! The realization hit me that despite my reluctance to “go easy” on the decorations this year, there are some things that must not be forgotten.

Traditions – family traditions, especially – are sacred and observed and expected by even the youngest members of our family. 

Thank you, sweet Sawyer, for helping me remember the “reason for the season.”  

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each and every one of you!

Online: allthingslorane.com



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