The Circle of Christmas Tradition

November 9, 2023
This piece is dedicated to Allison & Danica. It was inspired by an email sent my Allison. I hope it honors every mother who is trying to recreate her own mother’s magic.

I stand there opening holiday boxes filled with decorations, my grown daughter beside me. She loves this time of year. She always has. I used to enjoy it too before my mother passed. Now, it’s as if the magic and sparkle are just as gone as she is. 

In losing my mother, I lost the joy of the holidays too. I lost the tradition and the shine. I lost the warmth and the familiarity. The special kinds of things that come from a mother’s one-of-a-kind holiday creativity and love.

I carefully remove items from the box– ornaments, garland, tinsel. Without warning, I begin to cry. My daughter looks at me with compassion, hugs me, and then asks what’s wrong. 

Through tears I say, “Christmas will never be the same without my mom (your grandmother). She made Christmas all that it was. She is the reason things were so special. And now, they’ll simply never be the same. That magic is gone because she is.”

My daughter takes a step back and without hesitation she replies, “Mom, she may have brought all of the excitement to you, but you’re the one that brought those things to us! You’re the one who brings the tradition, the magic and the joy to our Christmas. Yes, grandma was there and she made things special, but it is you who makes Christmas, Christmas for us.”

And I’m speechless. And I sob. 

And I realize the circle of life is also the cycle of influence and love. 

My daughter has just revealed the circle of Christmas tradition– we become our mothers.

All of their love, tradition, influence and magic is ours too. We weren’t just making memories during all of those unforgettable holidays. We were subconsciously learning the tools of the trade, the intricate ways in which things come together to make things magical and full of light. 

And while Christmas won’t be the same for me, it will still be beautiful for them– my children. It will still shine. It will still be magic. It will still be priceless and full of joy. 

And I can’t think of a better way to honor my mother’s legacy of holiday enchantment than to keep creating it for my own family. So I will. 

And one day, my daughter will do the same.

And the circle of Christmas tradition will continue, all because of a mother’s infinite love. 

xox, Chels

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A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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