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Have Yourself a "Tradition-filled" Christmas

It's no secret that this time of year is infamous for traditions. Whether it's going somewhere special to get a Christmas tree or eating certain holiday foods with family, very few of us go through the holidays without doing something that created a memory years ago. My childhood was filled with traditions and I happily entered married life & parenthood wanting to maintain some traditions and wanting to create new ones. One new tradition: getting our Christmas tree at Lowe's. So quaint and charming, right??? Our first married Christmas (10 years ago!), we had grand plans to start the tradition of chopping down our own tree. We woke up the Saturday after Thanksgiving and it was a total blizzard outside. Determined to not let that get in our way, we drove the three miles to our closest Lowe's store, picked out a tree, had the trunk trimmed & the tree bundled up, stuck it in our car (yep, folded down the back seats & it fit just right in the trunk), and were back home in 20 minutes. It was delightful! So that's our tree tradition now! We live even closer to a different Lowe's store and have a minivan and, people, it's almost too easy. If your family treks into the woods to chop down the perfect tree, I salute you! But for this family, Lowe's is where it's at.

Of course, we have many other traditions. We decorate the day after Thanksgiving. We have an advent calendar & a Christmas countdown chain. We set up the same Christmas village that I used to set up when I was a child. My husband and I always watch "It's A Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve. Last year, we started doing something that will definitely become a tradition. Every Sunday night in December, we made hot chocolate, put it in travel mugs, & drove around to look at Christmas lights. We loved ended our weekend/starting our week in such a tranquil way.

What traditions do you have? Watching certain movies? Making certain treats? Visiting somewhere special? Something I love about traditions is that they don't have to be complicated and flashy in order to be meaningful. One of our favorite FIT4MOM Grand Rapids December traditions is our cookie & book exchange (coming up on Friday, December 21!).

Now, I'd be remiss to not acknowledge that the holiday season can also be a really difficult time of year for some. Whether it's the absence of a loved one, dreams that you hoped would be fulfilled yet aren't, or a myriad of other emotions, I'm so sorry for the sadness and pain you may be experiencing. I sincerely hope that this season, someone or something brings you a bright moment to make this time of year a bit lovelier for you.

Happy Holidays to all!