Normally I would be a big fan of the holidays, but the last few years have been sad ones for my family.  There is usually alot of illness or we have family members pass away.  Christmas and Thanksgiving being the worst!  My family still carries on all the holiday traditions because I have kids ages 16, 15, and 2, however, it is still a difficult time for me.  Part of our new tradition is to do an “in remembrance,” for those who have passed on by burning candles for them throughout the holidays.  We have the big family dinner for Thanksgiving which me and my sister in law switch out years (this year being my Thanksgiving), and on Christmas Eve we have a big family dinner and set out milk and cookies for santa claus for the little one.  Each member of our household is allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and of course, instead of waking up at the crack of dawn we get up when we fel like  If it wasn’t for the fact that we have kids I probably wouldn’t even celebrate the holidays like this..I do know that it is a time to cherish family and friends and be thankful for all the things that we have been given.  Also, what we can’t control or understand I am learning how to “let go, and let god.”

Laura Ann Smith


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