Monthly Archives: December 2015

Our Family’s Christmas Book, Wrapping up the Year

Christmas BookBefore we wrap up the year there is one thing we always do—write in our Christmas Book. It’s a family tradition we started 24 years ago. The Christmas Book is something like an annual family diary. Initially, it began by each member in the family sitting down on Christmas night and writing a page in the book. Our daughter was nine when we started the tradition, and our son was twelve. In those first years, they normally told about gifts they received along with drawings. For Don and I, we recapped Christmas and the year.

One might assume I started the tradition; after all, I’m the writer in the family. But actually, it was my husband, who wanted to start a Christmas family tradition of our own.

When our children became adults and moved out of the house, they would write in the book when they came home for Christmas—and when they married, I gave them their own books. I don’t think they are as faithful as we are in writing in their books, and I think someday they will regret not capturing all those memories. Of course, they’ve spent the last few years with a cell phone in their hand—one with a camera—so their lives are pretty much captured in pictures.

Pictures are nice—but so is a written account of our lives—something we have in our Christmas Book.

Stay safe tonight—and Happy New Year!

(Photo: Don, Scott, and Elizabeth, the first year writing in the family’s Christmas Book. 1991, Wrightwood, California.)

I’m back!!

Christmas 2015
I didn’t actually go anywhere—but I did check out from most Internet activities, such as blogging or socializing on Facebook, and I didn’t work on my new book. But I’m back today, and I’ll be diving into The Ghost of Valentine Past.

So where did I go—if only figuratively? Our daughter and her family came for Christmas. Last year Don and I spent Christmas alone, and it’s been a number of years since any of our kids came home for the holiday. I made the commitment to be in the moment this Christmas—especially since these moments are so rare and precious.

We spent extra care decorating the house and guest house, and it’s been years since I did any holiday baking—but I did it this year. We got the player piano working and ordered some Christmas rolls (which arrived just hours before our kids did). If someone were to ask why we bothered getting the piano going, or why we made an extra effort to deck out the house for the holidays, I would tell them, we were trying to create memories.

I want our grandchildren to remember the Christmas they spent in Havasu with Grandma and Grandpa Holmes, and GG (the nickname for my mother, Great-Grandma Caroline.) I want them to have fond sentimental memories, like those I have of my grandparents at Christmastime.

I confess, I cried when they drove off yesterday morning, and I wished again that we all lived closer to each other. But I was also content and had some wonderful new memories to cherish.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. Happy New Years!