Celebrations · family · Holidays · Traditions

Our presence is the present

The holiday season brings a lot of memories with it, most of them good, many of them have us reflecting back about people who aren’t here with us . Our relatives and loved ones who have passed away, gone, but not forgotten.

Many of us celebrating the holidays, maybe the first time with someone missing, one who has always been there.

Brings to mind a friend of mine, “Carol Christmas” was her nickname because she loved the holiday so much. She was known to put up her glorious tree with over 300 ornaments in October. Wrapping up all of the gifts with thought out coordinating paper and bows, almost too pretty to open.

It’s good to have these memories. It means we are paying attention. We remember because we were fully present in those moments we’ve shared.

The thing about a lot of people in our lives is that sometimes we don’t even realize how much of them we carry with us, because they’ve always been there.

When someone you love and admire dies, it hurts, of course. You think about all of the ways they’ve helped to shape you. They’ve taught you lessons, good and bad. They’ve influenced you in some way. You can not be untouched by them. You carry them with you, always.

The best thing we can do is to live in a way to honor the people who are no longer with us, celebrating the things they loved; bake their favorite cookies, toast with their favorite drink at a place they loved, do the activities they would’ve loved. Laugh. Cry. Create a new tradition honoring their memory.

The people we love, who love us, want us to be happy, whether they are dead or alive.

I hear my friend Mary Kay’s laugh in my head, a lot, I loved that about her. I listen to “Walk like an Egyptian” on my sister’s birthday because it was her favorite songs.

I love to hear stories where people look for signs and see them from their family and friends, like finding pennies or dimes or a feather or a number or a flicker of the lights or a song on the radio…

The significance is if we make the time to make the memories and enjoy each other, we can carry them with us, always…

Time to get real

There’s a difference between pressing the Like button and leaving a meaningful comment. There’s a difference of knowing someone from a far on social media and truly taking the time to know someone through shared personal experiences.

As many of us are making goals for this new year, I ask you to consider these questions;

Who do you spend time with?

What do you really know about them?

How can you get to know the people in your life better?

What are some memories you want to make together?

What will you remember them by?

What do people remember about you?

The ultimate amazing race

Family traditions are a good way to answer some of these questions…

I love the idea of family traditions because it really speaks to the uniqueness that each family unit has with each other and it’s like making your own rules for your little tribe.

Growing up, we always had a race to the Christmas tree. Kids vs. Dad and it wasn’t just your ordinary race, it was a match against wits; who could set the best trap? Who would outsmart the other? There were a lot of tricks, string on doors, bright lights, chairs piled up on one entrance to the tree, a tape recording saying “go back to bed”; just to name a few. Not sure if this was solely a result of being raised by an engineer or really a dad who is a big kid at heart and enjoyed the playfulness of it all. He always had the best record though, I believe we only won 2 times over 15 years or so…

I cherish that tradition. I will always think fondly about Christmas because of that. The presents were great too, but that race was what we really looked forward to.

Not just for Christmas

How might we create meaningful moments everyday? Month?

Turning on music at dinner creating a mood or theme. A full moon celebration. Celebrating the change in a season. A Saturday morning breakfast. These are the things that mark our lives.

We’ve all heard somebody at a funeral talking about things they remember about people and a lot of times it’s those everyday things; it’s the fact that a father came home from work and played games with you or the conversations at the dinner table or when you went for ice cream every Saturday night…this is what makes up our lives.

Sometimes, that’s the best things our loved ones who move on can hope for, that we keep their memory going strong by honoring them through the things they’ve taught us and living our lives the best we can, knowing they are cheering us along.

Feeling joyful to be able to spend time with my family & friends this holiday season.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful season and a Happy New Year!

How are you celebrating? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear about it.




6 thoughts on “Our presence is the present

  1. Great blog Audrey. Made me think of my dad and our tradition of him making popcorn every Sunday night while we watched Wonderful World of Disney as a family, and my brother and I got our once-a–week small glass of “pop”.

    Liked by 1 person

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