Some of the memories that made the most impact on my life growing up in Minnesota were the traditions that my parents put in place or even carried on from the generations before them.  We had simple everyday traditions like eating dinner together every night at around the same time, blessing our food and discussing the highlights of everyone's day, as well as special meals we looked forward to on specific days of the week.  We had weekend traditions like going to church as a family on Sundays followed by out to eat for brunch. Our summer weekends were always spent going up to the lake to our cabin and seeing our cousins and friends.

There were always holiday traditions from summer holiday picnics to winter holiday dinners and celebrations that all family members near and far would look forward to and try to attend if at all possible.  Decorating for Christmas was always so much fun, from the way the stockings were hung to the specific places my Dad would put certain ornaments on the tree since he was very particular about that. Traditions like these kept our family and relatives connected from past years and into new generations as the memories continued to be engraved into all of our hearts.

Now as an adult with children of my own, I have even a more profound sense of appreciation for tradition.  Not only have I kept some of the traditions that I knew so well growing up, but also continue to create new and lasting traditions of my own for my family and hopefully for theirs to come.  My daughters already look forward to our evening meals together, our time at church and our weekend getaways. I have also built tradition into my business, and at the end of the year, my staff looks forward to our annual Christmas Karaoke celebration, Bootcamp and Christmas party,  where we have fun gift exchanges and lots of laughs.

At Christmas time and as I enter a new season of winter holidays, I once again reflect on the traditions that made a lasting impression on me and realize how they have woven their way into my family.  Of course, things are different since I live in Florida with my immediate family and do not have relatives close by. We don't have the big family celebrations and dinners, and of course, there is no snow on the ground.  We do, however, love to decorate for Christmas and when my Dad comes to visit, he will move the ornaments to where he thinks they should be. We open a present from each family member on Christmas Eve, and then we look forward to the red tissue-wrapped gifts for each of us from Santa under the tree on Christmas morning - just like when I was a little girl growing up.

Whether you are starting a new family, have a blended family, or your kids are now adults with their own children and families, I encourage you to keep your traditions alive and well and take the time to create new ones that may be a better fit for your lifestyle and surroundings.  I know that sometimes it can be hard when your spouse has different ideas about tradition, or you lose a loved one, and they were instrumental in helping to keep those traditions going. I do, however firmly believe that maintaining tradition will make a positive, lasting impact on you and your loved ones now and in generations to come and can only help to enhance the beautifulife you are creating.

Merry Christmas and may your hearts and life be filled with love, joy, peace, and everything beautiful!

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