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From The Editor

December 14, 2011
I can’t wait for Christmas! I have always loved this season but I am particularly excited about it this year. I am sure it has something to do with my kids really getting into it too. They are constantly talking about all the elements that make up Christmastime: the snow, all the pretty lights and decorations, the elves, Jesus’ birthday, presents, etc. We seem to have at least a few discussions every day about some part of it. That also might be because we have a number of different family traditions that start the day after Thanksgiving and last throughout the whole month of December!

Family traditions make the season for me. We have a myriad of special days and events that lead up to the big celebration and head right into the new year. We have even added a few this year. I have very fond memories from my childhood traditions that have carried over into adulthood and tied into my own family festivities as well. Each year, with my kids, we read a Christmas related book each night starting December 1st right up through Christmas Eve, we leave our boots by our beds on December 5th for St. Nicholas to fill with toys, candies, nuts and oranges, we watch the holiday parade downtown and celebrate New Year’s Eve with our dear friends and one of my favorite things we do is cut down our own Christmas tree with my entire family the day after Thanksgiving.

All of our traditions, though I have listed just a few, are centered on family. I learned that from growing up in a home where my parents always made it the top priority. This year when we all went out to get our trees together we didn’t have to bundle up because it was a gorgeous, sunny day but the spirit of the season was with us as we laughed together and enjoyed the moment. My siblings and I reminisced about things that happened while tree hunting in our earlier days as kids. It always leads to poking fun at each other a little too. To me this time together is a snapshot of what the season should reflect: love, joy and peace.

You will find a number of stories talking about the different aspects of the season from gift giving to traditions. I know that each of us has certain ways we celebrate and acknowledge the holiday before us but my hope is that no matter what that looks like in your house that you are able to enjoy time together with your family this year!

Merry Christmas!

Kirsten Johnson

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