Losing traditions make student appreciative

My family has some traditions that drive me up a wall.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have rolled my eyes at my mom when she makes my three siblings and me come downstairs and decorate the Christmas tree. We each have our own bin of ornaments that have been collected over the years; most of mine are horribly embarrassing homemade ornaments with unfortunate pictures of my years in the middle.

Every year we all complain about being too old and too grown up. Every year the living room seems to get smaller as we all point out that my mom makes us decorate, and then the minute we’re all in bed, she moves everything around to make sure it looks beautiful and the way she wishes. It happens every year—except this one.

I was on the phone with my mom this past Sunday. She was just calling to check in and to let me know she, my dad, my younger brother and older sister were decorating the tree. I found myself upset, which shocked me. I found myself saying, “You guys couldn’t have waited until I got home next week?”

Of course, when my mom said “no,” I couldn’t tell her I was upset. I immediately felt older than I have ever felt before. I couldn’t believe traditions I once hated were continuing without me there. It made me feel homesick — which I never feel.

As I go home for my last Christmas break, I am hoping I find a new appreciation for all the small traditions, the stressful family events and the overwhelming full house that usually makes me insane. I think that I have finally realized that I don’t know where I am going to be or what I am going to be doing next year, and I may miss these things more than I was ever willing to admit.

Perhaps this Christmas, while the presents are being given, or the Christmas music is on the radio or your family is bundling up for church on Christmas Eve, you will take a minute and be thankful and appreciative and let the little stressors go for the time being.

Merry Christmas, everyone!