Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Importance of Family

Family is a precious gift.  As we were all happy to start our winter break and prepare for our Christmas celebrations, a dear teacher in my district collapsed as she was coaching her basketball team.  She was life flighted to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  She had surgery on Christmas eve with her family and friends nervously waiting.  Surgery was successful but results won't be in until Monday.  She has two young children and her husband is the principal at our high school.  I can't imagine what they are all going through right now as they try to keep Christmas alive with the children.  I admire the strong faith that they continue to share on their caring site.  Our wonderful community is embracing them all through this terrible time and prayers have been multiplying!

I know first-hand how a family deals with having a a sick family member around the holidays.  My father passed away on December 20th fifteen years ago from cancer.  Although he is terribly missed every day especially holidays, we vow to share memories of him and create new memories with our ever changing family.  This was the first year I had a child leave for college and having her come home for the holidays has been more joy than ever!  Both of my teenage children have enjoyed keeping all of our little family traditions.  (New pjs on Christmas Eve, Italian Wedding soup and seafood for Christmas Eve dinner with close friends, lotto tickets and games at night, kids sleeping in the same room, sitting at the top of the steps in the morning)  It made my Christmas!

Being that our families do not live close by, we are lucky this year to be able to have some of my husband's family visit this past weekend, be home on Christmas day to keep up with our own traditions, travel to see my whole family the weekend after Christmas, AND have my best friend and her family visit here next week.  Now that is more than I can dream about!  I may be exhausted starting back to school after the New Year but I will be so happy to have been surrounded by love for over two weeks!  That is what the holidays are all about!

Here are a few snapshots of our holidays:
Gram, cousins, and my kids
Hubby and his sister

Christmas Eve mass

Christmas Eve in our pjs and games with friends

I love hearing about everyone's holiday traditions.  I even did this in my class before our break.  We talked about their traditions and also explored other countries' traditions.  Then on the last day of school, we had an International Food Fair.  It was quite a success!  My students were so funny on what they wanted to taste!

What are one of your holiday traditions?
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