Trees of Christmas past

The golden years, the empty nest, retirement…whatever you choose to call the time of life beyond middle age…can be an amazingly freeing period of re-discovery and growth.  Embracing the reality in which you find yourself – holding on to value, letting go of what no longer works.  I found these words penned some time ago by Alexandra Stoddard, then writer-in residence at Victoria Magazine, to be both life-changing and life-affirming:

“Traditions that were once wonderful should not evolve into obligations.”

1985

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1988

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1991

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1995

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1998

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Tradition for our family:  big tree, real tree, green tree, hung with all the children’s ornaments – hand-made and gathered……….

the children grew and left the nest; the tradition was becoming an obligation.

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Ornaments were passed to those whose small hands had made them and hung them year after year on the tree.

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last year – family heirloom spoons

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this year – vintage salt cellars and shakers

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Do I miss the tradition (and the small hands)???  Yes…in the core of my being………..however – borrowing from Dr. Seuss:

“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”

6 Comments

Filed under Family history, Holidays, Inspiration

6 responses to “Trees of Christmas past

  1. Gail Campanella

    BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks, Susan

    • Charlotte Williams

      Wonderful old traditions giving way to new challenges and horizons. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself. Charlotte Williams

  2. Timely, tender leading to freedom… just what i needed!

  3. Wonderful post and great new ideas

  4. Kathi

    Such sweet/ bittersweet words! New traditions are important! Beautiful words! Kathi

  5. Love the sentiment. And the end result is beautiful.

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