We had our first family Christmas get-together last night...my Mom's side of the family. Many people sadly couldn't make it due to illness, work, or other engagements, but it was still fun!
We took lots of pics with my Mom and Dad, my nephew, Andrew, my Aunt Sue and cousin, Sarah, and my oldest brother, Keith with his girlfriend, Vicki.
I'm so thankful for a warm home to welcome others into! We are incredibly blessed!
It was great to see my cousins Katie and Meghan and their beaus, my cousin John and his wife, Stephanie and their son, Lucas...and John's parents, Barb and Morris as well. I know it's hard for my Mom and her sisters, not having my Granny here.
Christmas has really changed since the death of all my grandparents. We try not to let it bring us down by creating new traditions, but there is a sadness that everyone feels. Families grow apart as they expand. It takes work to keep relationships strong!
I read once that what makes kids want to stay connected to their families is meaningful traditions, and I really do see this. It's neat to hear my boys say things like, "When I have kids, we are gonna do this too!"
I was struck recently in a conversation when my friend was sharing how her mom was upset over her sister's new plans for the holidays because the sister is now engaged. I can't imagine how hard that is as a parent! But, we have to learn to let go and grow, communicate openly about our expectations and wishes, and be willing to create new traditions that include those God brings into our circles. We were meant to share love, not hoard it.
I pray one thing my sons are learning is how to slow down when things get crazy...how to keep God first, family second, etc...