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My Comfort and Joy: Embracing Changes in Holiday T...

My Comfort and Joy: Embracing Changes in Holiday Traditions

In November we talked about Gratitude and Thankfulness. We turned over every stone, looked in some unique places, and found what we were looking for. Even though the turkey carcass hasn’t even been picked clean, we are in the midst of the Christmas season. Shopping, “Bring a Dish to Pass”, cookies, decorations, lots of family. This month, we’re looking at Comfort & Joyso we’re asking – What brings YOU comfort and joy?  We’ll share ours and we hope you’ll share yours.

Listen to a little Comfort & Joy from the Barenaked Ladies:

Barenaked Ladies “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”  

Lee Aldrich MiddlesageThis holiday season is kinda weird for us. My dad died two years ago and my step-mom sold the house this summer and moved to Florida. Our annual Christmas Eve Party, celebrated for years upon years with family, friends and neighbors at that house, has come to a close. The evening that brought us all together, that provided so much love, comfort, joy and laughter over drinks and great food is on hiatus this year.

This year, some of us are celebrating in Florida, quite a few in Michigan, some in Seattle, Washington D.C., and Colorado. We’re spread all over hell’s half acre which is why the Christmas Eve party was so important to us all. It gave us a chance to see each other, relax, find strength and love and connection in spite of lives that are hectic and separated. A chance to get caught up and filled in on the marriages and births. Untitled 4A chance to just be with each other.

Much of my joy comes from family – and lord knows we’re a varied and extended crew. We’re grand parents, parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins – brought together by birth and marriage. Whether step, in-law or blood related, it doesn’t matter….we – as the Pointer Untitled 5Sisters sing – are family.

My usual comfort is found in the large din of many conversations all going on at once. Of the hellos and hugs. Of the toasts and clinking of glasses. Of the carols sung to the music our resident violist and keyboard players choose. Of conversations around the bar. Of traditions sculpted over the years.

ms 2Ok…so this year Christmas is kinda weird. But I am finding comfort in listening to my dog snore as Dave Brubeck and Oscar Peterson float from the speakers in my office while I write. I find comfort knowing that the Santa’s workshop of a mess in the kitchen doesn’t have to be hidden away. And comfort, too, that people understand their gifts will be late because Amazon has screwed up my shipping plan because their vendor – FedEx – decided to hand off the shipping to the US Post Office. (Small rant, sorry!)

My joy this year comes from knowing that my husband and I will spend Christmas in our own home….only the second time I’ve done this in my life. That we can attend a Christmas Eve service this year. That we can sit around the tree in our jammies drinking coffee, mimosa, or bloody mary’s…it’s our choice. That we don’t need to count on the airlines to get us anywhere. That we don’t have to go anywhere – unless it’s a walk in the snow. That anything we choose to do we can do on our own timeline. There will be no rushing and no worries.

Comfort and joy, like life itself, flows and changes. If we struggle against the changes we wind up stressed, frustrated and upset. So this year my comfort and joy is found right in my own home. But as I said….life is all about change. Next year we’ll find our comfort and joy right where we left it…at the annual Christmas Party. It’ll be the same folks, celebrating love and family and friends…just in a different home. Comfort and joy is what adds flavor to our lives and embracing change is part of life. I’ve decided to carry on and hug the changes with both arms. What have I got to lose?

Wishing you and your family comfort and joy and a very Merry Christmas.

So….where are YOU finding comfort and joy this holiday season? Is it the same as every year or has it changed? I told you my story….I’d love to hear yours!



  1. Sue Shoemaker

    22 December

    Here in Michigan we are dealing with the results of an ice storm today…so I can definitely say that our GENERATOR brings me comfort and joy…AND having a husband who is willing and ABLE to keep the heat and lights on!

    Merry Christmas, Lee!

  2. […] week Lee wrote about finding comfort and joy in new traditions.  At mid life you’re looking at an empty nest…and I mean a really empty nest, not the […]

  3. Bouncin Barb

    24 December

    Sounds like it’s just an adjustment and tweak to your usual traditions. You have the right attitude towards change. You just have to go with the flow I always say. As you know from my blog and story, I’ve been through a few of those..lol. Now that I’m with Bruce, we just make sure our families enjoy their Christmases and we chat with them by phone. We relax, I make a nice dinner and we watch all the classic Christmas movies. It’s not what I’m used to, but it’s a new change for me. I’m ok with that. Have a very Merry Christmas.
    Bouncin Barb recently posted…A Hug For ChristmasMy Profile

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