Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Family Matters: Making New Traditions

Posted on Nov 29, 2017 by Lisa Ricard Claro   12 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I hope you did. This was our first major family holiday here in the new digs, and our little condo accommodated the crowd quite comfortably. Next up: Christmas! There will be a lot of decorating going on this week as we search through holiday boxes to see if what we brought from the old home will work here at the new one. I’m anticipating a challenge and multiple trips to Home Depot and Hobby Lobby. The hubster has been warned. 🙂

I’m excited for this first Christmas in Florida because it is a blank canvas. We’ve made no Christmas memories here, have yet to set certain decorations in the perfect locations where they will reside again next year. At the old house, everything had a place: the nativity decorated the mantle; the porcelain Christmas Eve scene figurines usurped the surface of the big teak cabinet; the animated Santa welcomed visitors from his spot in the foyer. For nearly two decades a nine foot tree stood in the same corner of the family room every year. Here at the new place, we’re still trying to figure out where a tree will even fit, and although there are vaulted ceilings, it is likely that our tree this year will be reduced to six feet or less to minimize the circumference of the base. After nearly two decades we’re changing things up, finding unexpected places for old traditional pieces and welcoming the fresh appreciation that comes with new views.

There will be disappointment, too, when some beloved decorations are given away or returned to boxes because there is no room here, and sadness when we discover inevitable breakage incurred during the move. But decorations—whether expensive, cheap, or homemade and priceless—are still only things, after all. They don’t constitute the heart of Christmas. And the memories we’ve made over the years stay with us no matter where the celebrations occur, and the new memories we’ve yet to create will become part of our family’s rich tapestry. As much as I loved the old traditions, the old way of things, I know I’ll treasure the new with equal verve.

For the first time, due to family member work schedules, we will celebrate on Christmas Eve instead of on Christmas. The huge brunch I always fix Christmas morning after opening gifts will be served instead late morning on Christmas Eve, and gifts will be opened afterwards. Instead of rising especially early on Christmas morning to prepare for the arrival of family, we’ll be sipping our coffee and planning time at the beach with our eldest daughter who will be visiting from Georgia. In my whole life I’ve never turned Christmas around, have never spent that holy day looking out over the vast expanse of saltwater that both swells my heart and reminds me of how minuscule I am in this universe. I feel a spiritual connection to the water, as many people do, and the notion that my Christmases going forward will include time with the surf burying my toes in the sand makes me happy.

Writing this post got me thinking about some of my favorite Christmas things, none of which will ever reside on my entryway table or be hung at the front door. These are things which cannot be broken or put away into a box. I’m not a religious person, though I’m a spiritual believer and talk to God with such frequency that I’m pretty sure he wishes he’d made me less chatty. 🙂 But religious or not, Christmas is in my heart, and there are a few things that come around this time of year and which I love and appreciate every time I hear them. The first is this quote from Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas:

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more.”

Here it is, acted with hammy delight by Jim Carrey as the Grinch:

And this rendition of “Mary Did You Know?” may give you chills no matter your religious—or nonreligious—frame of mind. The first time I heard this song it moved past “O Holy Night” into the number one spot for me of Christmas songs. I get chills every time I hear it, no matter who sings it. This version is one of my favorites.

What things do you treasure about holidays that are important to you? Do you have a family heirloom you always put on display? A favorite song that gives you chills or warms your spirit? Have you ever, like me, been in a situation where there is a “blank canvas” on which you have the opportunity to create new traditions? Please share in the comments.

See you again this Friday, December 1st, for a cover reveal of my new release, THE WRITE MAN, coming December 8th in Roxanne St. Claire’s Barefoot Bay Kindle World.

Thanks for hanging out with me! See you Friday.

Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last, Love to Believe, or Love to Win in eBook or print just click the book cover on this blog’s sidebar. Autographed copies are available for purchase on my HOME page. 🙂  The audio version of Love Built to Last is available HERE now!

12 Responses to "Family Matters: Making New Traditions"

  1. Comment by MaryLou Boucher
    November 29, 2017 at 4:55 pm  

    I love this fresh perspective on Christmas!! About 23 years ago, my sister, Linda, moved to Florida. I was lucky enough to make it down for Christmas. We got to swim in the ocean on Christmas Day! What a treat!!! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and New Year!! xo from New England

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      December 5, 2017 at 7:35 pm  

      Brr…I remember snow on Christmas! I do miss it . . . sometimes. lol Wishing you a warm, if white, Christmas, MaryLou!

  2. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    November 29, 2017 at 4:57 pm  

    I have lots of traditions, but they’re ever-changing, just like my family. Early years when the kidders were young, Christmas Eve always included a reading of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS :-)…and sometimes Mass on Christmas Eve and sometimes, Christmas morning (when I was a kid, we had no choice, it was always Christmas morning. And we couldn’t see what Santa brought till we got home from Mass. I am not gonna lie, me and about five billion Catholic kids were saying prayers so fast, it’d make your head spin! Hahahahhaaa!) and now, we go to Midnight Mass. And don’t get me started on the tree or lights or food…all of which changes every year, and yet manages to stay the same in the important ways.

    Enjoy your beachy Christmas, friend! ♥

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      December 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm  

      New traditions are sometimes grasped by us and sometimes forced on us, but when it comes to Christmas, I like to think the ones we create are the ones we’re meant to have. Love to you, my friend.

  3. Comment by joan mountford
    November 29, 2017 at 8:24 pm  

    That song by Pentatonix was new to me – and what a gift! Thank you, Lisa! Love,
    mrs. m.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      December 5, 2017 at 7:33 pm  

      You’re so welcome! I’m glad you have a new favorite to enjoy. xo

  4. Comment by Sioux
    November 30, 2017 at 7:04 am  

    Handel’s Messiah always gets me.

    I have a Christmas tree skirt my mother made. Unfortunately, we don’t have room for a big tree these days. I’ll have to figure out a way to display it or use it… Or perhaps it will be a nice thing to pass onto my daughter…

    (I hope Linda doesn’t read this. Christmas on the beach? She’ll be right next to you, in her heart…)

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      December 5, 2017 at 7:32 pm  

      We’ve had to downsize our tree as well, Sioux. I’m sure your daughter will love having that tree skirt.

  5. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    November 30, 2017 at 10:13 am  

    My friend moved to Florida and hung a beach-theme wreath on her front door, which brought tears to my eyes. Like you, my spirituality is awakened at the beach. I commune in the sand and surf. God has two of us chatty women to bend his ear, then. LOL

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      December 5, 2017 at 7:31 pm  

      I’m guessing he doesn’t mind at all. 🙂

  6. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    December 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm  

    Our family Christmas traditions slowly died out after all of the parents passed on. When we moved I brought some Christmas stuff, treasured ornaments mostly, but let so much go.

    My biggest regret was getting rid of about 15 very large red velvet bows, with long streamers. We used them to decorate deck/stair railings inside and out of our Ohio home. At the time I didn’t realize that they would have worked very well on the outside railings of our new home in Florida.

    A new Christmas tradition, after we moved to Florida, is to have dinner at the clubhouse with friends and family.

    I love Pentatonix. We have Amazon Prime and the original Echo. All I have to do is say “Alexa, play Christmas music by Pentatonix” and I get to listen to them as much as I want. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      December 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm  

      Aw, I’m sorry about your bows. We’ve discovered some things we gave up that we wish we hadn’t. But I’m glad you’ve created new, happy traditions. 🙂


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