Around this time of the year, I feel I should search for tradition. Many people have customary ways to celebrate a holiday or the new year itself. I have none. I may put up a light or two one year, crochet and display a tree the next, but my celebration changes from one year to the next.
When we had young ones in the house, we tried the Stanley-and-Marsha-do-American-Christmas. It was fun. But American Christmas is exhausting, and it was one of the first things we gave up when we could. Celebrating peace, brotherhood and love is a good thing, and I continue that tradition in spirit. While I enjoy other people’s celebrations – the decor, the Christmas tree, endless Santa – for me, most the other hoopla is gone.
Being a good American, though, I struggle with the guilt of it. Shouldn’t I play endless Christmas music? Shouldn’t I shop until I drop? Shouldn’t I race around until every gift is perfect and no one is forgotten? And what about the annual Christmas brag letter?
Today I received a simple, exquisite, heart felt note of seasonal happiness. Tamila sent us a greeting from Ukraine. I know things are better for her today than last year, and am very happy that, even while her country reels, Tamila’s life is settling a bit. But she said nothing of herself in this note. Her message was clear and unselfish. All she did was send a wish for goodness in our lives.
Maybe I’ve found my tradition, one that will stay throughout the rest of my life. No list of good (or bad) events during this past year, no lengthy update of jobs and people and vacations, no heavy hand at decorating, just a simple wish for good things to happen to good people.
May there be happiness in the new year for us all.