Christmas Traditions – Deciding to Make time for the Important Things this Holiday Season – Family, Friends and Traditions

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I will always remember eating pierogies at my grandmother’s house on Christmas day. A true Polish tradition, the pierogies were hand-made with a lot of love, and an exorbitant amount of time, making an incredible impression on me (our whole family, for that matter). Just imagine, potato flour dough, stuffed with cooked cabbage and sauteed onions, boiled, and then panfried in butter served with a side of sour cream. Twenty years later, this is what comes to mind when I conjure up memories of the holidays as a little girl. Gifts? Yes, I remember the pretty packages, the anticipation, the lights. But the actual gifts, I don’t recall. I am sure I loved them, but it seems to be the family traditions, the love, the whole atmosphere, that really impacted me. This is what I believe Christmas is really about.
20 years later…many of the original families aren’t intact, due to both man’s will, and God’s will. Life is hectic, balancing a 4 year old, my own family, my pets, bills, work, let alone a pile of Christmas cards to be addressed, gifts to be purchased and errands to run. But in a moment of clarity, as I whizzed away, back to a place so simple and meaningful, I made a pact about Christmas this year: It’s ok to send Christmas cards a few days late, wishing a Happy New Year rather than a Happy Christmas. And the gifts will be purchased online, with gift wrapping service added. We will have take-away food a bit in the weeks to come, and maybe even a frozen dinner or two. However, today my daughter and I are going to embark on one of the important journeys of the season, teaching her the tradition of family, friends and time. As we begin to roll the dough for the pierogies, and steam the cabbage (the beginnings of an all day project), and her patience slips a bit as the time goes by, I will persist, knowing that my grandmother will be looking down on us, smiling.
Save time for the important things in life.
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