This year we celebrated a quiet Christmas with the right elements — time with family and friends, meals shared, gifts exchanged, lots of laughs, bonds renewed. Over the years, we've continued and developed traditions that mark the holiday season. Whether new or passed along through generations, traditions connect us with a sense of family far and near, our generous and kindest qualities, good times … and comforting reminders of what truly matters in life.
Here are some of the traditions we enjoy –
2. My grandmother’s miniature gold-tinseled tree – just a foot tall, with glass balls and dazzling metal stars – on my mantel. This little antique reminds me of my childhood and the magical times in my grandmother’s house.
3. The things my children have made over the years – like the little green handprint wreath paintings from their preschool days, or those adorable if sometimes unidentifiable playdough ornaments.
4. Three new ornaments for the tree, which I label with my three sons’ names and the year. I’ve done this since their first Christmases. Now they each have a set of ornaments to add to their own trees when they have their own families, and they have a new tradition to continue.
5. Yankee trading! After the family meal and the real gift exchange, our extended family gathers to unwrap and wildly trade gag gifts. It's a hilarious highlight of our holiday season.
What holiday traditions do you share in your families? Please tell us about some of them!
And here's a new little tradition, this year only, that we can share: while you’re out and about this week, please look for my new Sarah Gabriel historical romance,THE HIGHLAND GROOM – it’s in bookstores tomorrow!