Christmas has always been my grandfather’s favorite holiday and because of all the love he puts in to it year after year, he has made it our favorite holiday too. It is all about the traditions.
Every year all 14 of us roll in from where ever we live and move in to their house for the week.
Every year I wrap my presents for my family in newspapers, hoping maybe one year it will catch on.
Every year my grandfather gives my grandmother at least one gift she doesn’t like.
Every year my mom really likes to sing Christmas carols.
Every year my vegetarian brother eats fake bacon and my grandfather refers to it as his eating disorder.
Every year we wear crowns on our heads, say grace and eat lots of food.
And every year, after is all said and done, we pack up our new loot and return to our respective states and my grandparents once again have their house back. But this year there was a small but significant change in tradition…
This year my grandfather waited and let us decorate the Christmas tree.
But it wasn’t an easy thing for my grandparents to watch. 65 years of marriage means they know how they like their Christmas tree to be decorated and they weren’t so sure we were doing it right.
And although we enjoyed ourselves, despite our lack of Christmas tree decorating style, it was hard for us to let them sit there.
It was breaking tradition. It was my grandfather taking a step back and giving away a little control. And the reason for his step back is a hard thing to think about. So we do our best not to think about it.
Instead we are so grateful for every day and every tradition we have and we hope with all our hearts that it will all be exactly the same next year.