We tend to focus on the positive aspects of the holidays, but what about the challenging times?
Traditions, family, holidays... They all come together to create our history and collective experience. The holidays are filled with memorable events that we reflect on year after year. These poignant moments help weave the story of our lives.
Quite a few years ago my Grandmother unexpectedly died this time of year. It was actually in November, but by the time our family caught its collective breath, Christmas was well and truly charging toward us. She was the matriarch of the family and without her we were all a little lost and not sure how or who should pick up the reigns of holiday traditions.
My Grandfather was understandably devastated. Yet, he felt the need to keep tradition alive and have Christmas at his house. We all did our best filling in where we could and kind of making it up as we went along. I remember it was a big deal when we couldn't find some of the holiday plates that we always use and we were not sure who, if anyone, should sit in her seat at the table. Looking back, these things were not a big deal but at the time they felt huge.
For as painful as this time was, it was also a time of discovery. You see, my Grandmother was a well vetted and graceful hostess. My Grandfather loved seeing her in her element and encouraged her to shine brightly. We all assumed she orchestrated every detail of the Christmas celebration, right down the wrapping of the presents. So, in my teenage attempt at helping Christmas run smoothly, I decided to offer my Grandfather help with wrapping the gifts.
It was the first time I saw a bit of the twinkle return to his eye when he said, "No, I think I will be just fine... I wrapped Christmas presents in a department store when I was a boy." We were all shocked. This quite formal, quiet man had never once let on that all of the tidily folded edges, straight creases, and pretty bows on the packages were his doing all these years. I still think back on this moment and smile. It became a Christmas memory that we talked about every year and still do. I have no doubt this year will be the same, even though this will be our first Christmas without him as well.
He continued to wrap our gifts each and every Christmas. We will certainly miss him this year as life presents us with a challenge and an opportunity to carry on and create new traditions. I wonder now what he would think about my new style of wrapping gifts with LilyBee instead of store-bought paper. So far it's been a hit with family and friends, so I like to think he is smiling about it as well.
So if you want to create a Christmas memory you will talk about for years to come and impress your family and friends, try wrapping your gifts with LilyBee this season.
Our large and XL singles are a good place to start and if you have a range of gift sizes, our Family Packs are perfect. My favorite thing to wrap up so far has been a wooden fish we bought for our Bubs. I just know he is going to love the texture and experience of unwrapping it. It's something you can do again and again!