Christmas for me is always bitter sweet. I do always find this time of year tough, because I miss my brother dearly, and he passed away only a month before Christmas. He always made the best homemade gifts, and I miss them so much. My Dad also passed away in the winter, and he LOVED Christmas. He loved the holiday lights, the music, the food, and he went shopping crazy. He embodied the Christmas spirit, and as a result, the holiday was always big in our home. There was only the five us around, as our family all lived far away, so Christmas was the time we were together. For the past few weeks I have thought about my Dad a million times, as I know how much he loved this holiday and how much he would love seeing the kids on Christmas morning. Through all the ups and downs of life, our own Christmas traditions have kept us all going through this tough time of year, and it's these traditions that I look forward to every year.
My brother and Dad, 2003
The main tradition that embodies Christmas for my family is our family jammies. Each year, my Mom chooses a fabric and sews us all matching pjs. She has been doing this over 20 years! We all get to open them on Christmas Eve and then stay in them until Boxing Day. We all can't wait to open them every year, and we could give up every present, but never the jammies. Mom now makes them for our partners, the grandchildren and even bandanas for the family pets. It really is the focus of our Christmas.
Family Christmas 2014
My sister lives in the States, and we all FaceTime and open them together, as the big reveal is one of the main parts. This year my Mom will be with us on Christmas and having her there to open them, does always make it extra special. My Dad's last Christmas, when he was in the hospital, my Mom still made sure we all had them.
When Lucas passed away, Mom shared that making the family jammies might be too difficult, and we understood, but we were all heart broken inside. No jammies? would it even be Christmas? It was like facing another loss, and a grief set in. What would we do without the family pyjamas? She knew in her own heart, that we needed those pjs to get through the holidays. We needed to feel like a family when everything else had shattered. So, she made it all happen and on Christmas Eve, we all opened our pjs, and things felt "ok" for even the briefest moment.
Although she spends weeks preparing and sewing, and we all LOVE the jammies, the family pjs, are so much more than flannel. They are comfort, tradition, and family. They are created with love, and have become the soul of Christmas for us. As life has changed, and Christmas looks different now, what has remained constant and beautiful, is the family jammie tradition.
She has expressed over the years, "maybe this will be the last year," but we all know in our heart of hearts, it's not. It just wouldn't Christmas without them, and our children can't wait for them too. This beautiful tradition of family jammies has become the glue through everything, and every time I put them on, I feel like everything is going to be alright.
I love hearing about your own traditions! Comment below and share.
Merry Christmas, everyone!