It’s that time again, a time when family and tradition come together to celebrate Thanksgiving and the Advent season. I look forward to it, because it is a celebration.
And like any celebration it involves a lot of thought, work, and, for me, a sense of real joy.
This year for Thanksgiving I did not cook the traditional family meal. My son Christopher and his family hosted our family for Thanksgiving in their new home.
At first I was disappointed that I would not be preparing the food for everyone. It has always been our family tradition to have Thanksgiving at my house. Then I thought about it and realized that we will be together as a family eating a well-prepared meal. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving all about?
Advent and Christmas have their own traditions. Christmas music, decorating our house, preparing a wonderful meal and gift-giving are a big part of our family traditions.
My husband and I have three families (six adults and seven grandchildren) we buy for at Christmas. Buying gifts for them every year gives us such joy; the spirit of the season truly fills our hearts.
But the reality is that none of us “needs” anything. So this year we are trying something new. Each year our church sponsors an Angel Tree. The Angel Tree is an outreach program providing gifts to those who would probably not have a present under the tree.
Last year we bought a red coat for an eight-year-boy, and a warm nightgown for his mother. Talk about joy when I wrapped the presents and took them to the church! I said a prayer for each person before I handed over the gifts, hoping that the presents would bring them as much joy as I had received in purchasing them.
My hope is our family will start a new tradition of giving to others at Christmas. I am also praying that as my grandchildren grow up, they will see the adults giving to others and will want to be a part of the joy, too.
Photo from Catholic Greetings