Sunday, December 21, 2008

Her Own Traditions

Christmas normally meant rushing around to do last minute shopping, helping to prepare for Christmas dinner and exhaustion complete at the end.

This year would be different though. Miranda wasn't planning to go home this year. It seemed odd somehow--all those family traditions--not to be celebrated this year. She felt a bit sacraligious somehow when she'd informed her mother she wouldn't be home this year--how could she break tradition?

But looking back, Miranda was glad she had done it. The rushing, all the excitement, all the people. She needed a break. It had been a tough year for Miranda. She'd been sick a lot and her body was telling her to ease off. That was what really led to the big decision not to go home for Christmas.

Tradition--what was it really? But something started at one point for whatever reason and repeated year after year until it becomes a natural habit of things--and difficult. It wasn't that old traditions were bad, but for her, right now, she needed something different. Maybe just a time reassess.

This year she would be starting her own tradition. Quiet time for herself. How strange to think about all these years, that if she broke "tradition" a big pit would open and swallow her up. It didn't happen though. Her mother had understood--sort of. But at any rate here she was now curled up on the sofa, engulfed in a multicolored afghan blanket and Buttons, her calico cat, curled up in her lap fast asleep.

It had been nice attending Mass and being able to savor the full meaning of Christmas, enjoying each moment and able to stop and appreciate the peace and beauty of the night.

Miranda though she would hate staying at home, being by herself, and missing her famiily. But even though she missed the boisterous family cheer, she enjoyed the peace and solitude.

She was older, no longer the child of her parents' traditions, but an adult ready to make her own way. How strange that she finally felt old enough to make these decisions. Had the umbilical cord finally been cut or had it only been weakened? That was yet to be seen. Miranda only knew she would savor this moment for the here and now.

So she took a sip of her hot chocolate and picked up the book she bought just to read on this special night -- Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," and carols softly playing in the background. The small table lamp the only light to illuminate the room. Maybe next year she would go back to the traditions of her parents and her childhood, but for now, this was what was right for her.

January 7, 1992


If Miranda's story had been written today, she'd be reading "A Christmas Carol," on her ebook reader, and connecting with her family by webcam Christmas morning.

An interesting thought as to how the technological changes in just a few years can tweak our family traditions to fit our lifestyle and our personal needs. :-)

With much love and peace,


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