This year we decided that we'd try a new family celebration - Thanksgiving. Christmas has not been the same for us since John (my husband) died on Christmas Eve in 2004. Our old Christmas traditions are tinged with the sadness of our loss so we thought it was time to develop some new family traditions that celebrate life, love, family and the things we hold dear in a new context - a New Zealand-style Christmas/Thanksgiving all rolled into one!
I really enjoyed decorating the house, setting the table, arranging the flowers and preparing the food. I was not overwhelmed by the sadness that I've felt over the last few years when getting the decorations out. It felt different and new.
We had a lovely evening - talking, laughing, eating great food, sharing great times and exchanging our Christmas gifts. A highlight was sharing what we were thankful for. It really felt like God was adding something special back into our lives.
Thanksgiving - definitely a tradition that we will continue to celebrate as a family.