Growing up in the Florida Keys, my memories of Christmas are a little different than most. Half dead Christmas trees bought at Publix, singings songs about snow while wearing shorts, driving down Bee Street which went all out with their outdoor decorations, and who can forget, the numerous Manatee mailboxes wearing Santa hats. Sadly, one thing that I don’t remember is having any traditions that we celebrated annually as a family. It wasn’t until after Chris and I started spending the holidays together, that I began to see what the holidays should really be like. That first year, I was introduced to the infamous, “Day after Thanksgiving feast” with his best friend’s family.
When we bought our house, we went to the Christmas tree farm and cut down our first tree. I was thrilled to tears when my Grandmom gifted us with handmade Christmas stockings with our names on them. Our first Christmas season at St. Mary Anne’s, I was overjoyed to be a part of the annual traditions of the church, Advent Wreath making, the Cookie Walk, watching the Christmas parade on the porch with my grandparents and friends, Wreaths Across America and our magnificent Christmas Eve service.
Henry’s first Christmas last year, brought even more traditions to our family – pictures with Santa, personalized ornaments, and matching family pajamas. The holiday season is so magical and while I’m soaking in all of the lights, smells and songs of Christmas, I am exceptionally grateful to now have our own traditions that I cherish so dearly.