Tradition. Over time, from one generation to another, traditions alter and change. At first it's barely noticeable but in time you realize that only the shell, remnants of the old ways have been drawn along to the future. In our family, Christmas was always celebrated in the home where the young children dwelled and everyone from grandparents to grown siblings tried to be present at that home come Christmas morning. For us, that meant all the trappings of Christmas took place at the manse in Morristown. Time moved along, as it inevitably does, and those children became adults and flew the coup. Grandparents die and siblings marry and drift far and wide. As our children become parents and have children we become the grandparents, the address that Santa visits changes. Hopefully that spot is close enough for grandma and grandpa to visit on Jesus' birthday. In our case our first two grand-daughters have spent their lives 2500 miles away in the State of Texas. Fortunately my job enabled us to travel to Texas in the first week of December and spend an early Christmas with those girls, but "Christmas" continued to take place in the place we've called home since 1975. Three years ago I changed jobs and because of vacation choices had to sacrifice the Texas trip. Then 2 years ago a new grand-daughter was born to the family just 4 1/2 hours away and the venue for Christmas day changed.
So the tradition of family traveling to the home where the young children live still holds. As does grandma's cinnamon buns first thing Christmas morning. Grandma and grandpa are still the first ones up to see what Santa has wrought. That's a hold over from when we were kids and were always up first. Our kids rarely got up before us , but rather had to be called to the tree with sleep seeds still in their eyes on Christmas morn. My brother and his family will be in Tennessee this year and my sister and her husband will travel to Watertown to celebrate with her husband's parents. Di's sister and her husband won't stop by Christmas day night as they return from Lowville. Our daughter and her husband will travel here to Niagara Falls to join us in the celebration. Tourtiere and biscotti will grace the table. Both sets of grandparents will be in attendance and we'll open one gift at a time so that everyone gets to enjoy who got what from whom.
While the core of our tradition remains, the fringes change with the passing of time. Venues change and participants are added and subtracted. But the rock this holiday is founded on remains steadfast; We know in our hearts that this day is a celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. We believe in what he stands for.
And Santa Clause? Do we believe in him too? Well I'll tell you what I told my children when they each reached the age of questioning whether Santa was real: When you stop believing in Santa he'll stop coming to visit. And I'll add today; If you stop believing in Jesus............................!
Merry Christmas to my blog family, former and current.