Christmas traditions with my family

I have happily reaped the benefits of multiple Christmases for nearly two decades and have a number of Christmas traditions.

I have happily reaped the benefits of multiple Christmases for nearly two decades and have a number of Christmas traditions.

My parents have been divorced essentially my whole life, and this worked out very well for holidays. Not because I got more presents, but because I get more family time.

The traditions I hold with my father’s side have changed a little bit as I’ve grown. As a child, my brother and I would attend midnight masses with our grandparents, head home, open a single gift and head to bed.

In the morning, we would gather our father and stepmother Amanda, sit around our tree – always decorated by Amanda – and pass around the stockings. We would open the rest of our gifts and relax, usually with some of Amanda’s baking. Once a year she would treat us to our favourite snack – Five Star Bars.

Some years, I had so many dinners I never wanted to see turkey again. Dinners with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles were always fun. I have a large European family and when we all get together it can be a pretty good time.

As I’ve gotten older, I have changed from playing with toys with my cousins to enjoying a glass of Christmas wine with the adults. I still love Christmas, regardless of presents, because I get to see my family that has grown and spread around Calgary.

In Red Deer, Christmas with my mom holds its own traditions. In Red Deer, the season opens with baking.

My mom and I would bake cookies and chocolates and send them out to all of the branches she managed. We would keep the rest and each year we tried new designs for chocolates and new recipes. Our house always started to smell good around the first week of December and I loved spending the time with my mom.

As a kid, we make tons of crafts for our tree. Each year, my brother and I would pester our mom to drag out the decorations and we would spend hours going through them as we filled the tree.

I love looking at the crafts I remember from my childhood and hearing the stories from my mom that go with each decoration.

In recent years, mom ditched the big tree and opted for a palm tree – she hates winter and wanted to be reminded of beautiful beaches. To me, a palm tree doesn’t count, but it makes her happy and that’s okay with me.

Since mom’s fiancé has joined our family, I have had even more cousins and aunts and grandparents to spend time with. They are all based in Manitoba, but we usually figure out a way to see each other.

The dinners at mom’s tend to vary and now carry a Ukrainian influence, thanks to my stepfather Todd. Presents have never been the central idea of my family’s Christmases. Sure, I won’t deny enjoying them but what I like the most is the spirit and closeness my family carries through the season.

Growing up, neither of my parents lived an affluent lifestyle, but there was always a Christmas dinner and time spent together. I love seeing my siblings, and each year my family seems to grow more.

I have also incorporated some new traditions that include my boyfriend and his family. They love to get together for dinners and I am always invited.

I know lots of people who don’t care much for Christmas, but I love it. I grew up knowing the religious reasons but the meaning I take from it is that it is a time to be with my loved ones and reflect on the previous year.

My last tradition is to take time to write out all of the things I went through that year, positive and negative, and reflect on how I have grown and what I have accomplished. This gives me a sense of what I want to work toward and where I am in my life.

I believe that Christmas is a time for people to look back and appreciate what they have. I don’t care if I have presents, dinners or whatever else as long as I get to enjoy the season with the people I love.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Merry Guanas poised to be Lacombe’s first cannabis dispensary

Cannabis retail owner expects a six-month wait before industry comes to city

Lacombe hosts 6th Invasive Species Council Conference at LMC

Council looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Construction along Woodland and Fairway drives

Construction in this area is planned for the week of March 25, 2019

Lacombe’s CACHS Knights girls come up just short at Provincials

Cold shooting second half prevents Lacombe girls from medal round

NDP Leader Rachel Notley stops in Red Deer on campaign trail

Notley promises hospital expansion, cath lab, pipelines and energy industry expansion

WATCH: ‘Napalm Girl’ discusses journey from hatred to forgiveness in Lacombe

Burman University’s Herr Lecture Series welcomed Kim Phuc Phan Thi to Lacombe

Women of Excellence Awards introduces ‘Women of Excellence in Construction’

Gala will take place June 19th at the Sheraton Red Deer

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Oil prices, Alberta election call cloud Stampede chuckwagon auction expectations

The top money bid last year came from Versatile Energy Services, Ltd.

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per cent

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read