Several weeks ago, one of my children asked if we'd be traveling for any holidays this year. My answer—an unequivocal "no,"—didn't bother her: she's as much of a homebody as I am. She shared that while she was "glad not to get in a car," she'd miss not having everyone—aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins—sitting around a big table. "I like having everyone together," she said. "Remember that time we had to put the kids' table in the foyer?"
Our reason for not traveling at holiday time is simple: too often we're harboring a pesky virus, and because one Thanksgiving we brought influenza from Dayton to Chicago (and gave it to anyone who came into contact with us or the cherry pie I had baked), we now tend to stay put, celebrating with local friends (who have become like family) or by ourselves.
But my daughter's reaction gave me time to reflect on what I like about the holidays: the enchantment of twinkling lights, the scent of baking gingerbread cookies, the almost ubiquitous feelings of joy and kindness, and just like my daughter, the uninterrupted family time.
Curious, I perused the internet for what other people consider their favorite parts of the extended holiday season. Repeatedly, the same themes arose: classic movies, tried-and true recipes, gift giving, holiday music, random acts of kindness, and yes, you guessed it, family time. Despite all the rituals and traditions that can vary across countries, cultures, and religions, the most important thing to people is family.
After fifteen years together, our readers are like family to us. We're grateful to have you while you're here, and we're hoping to see you for years to come. From our family to yours, may you find your favorite parts of the holiday with your own family this season and throughout the entire year.
Welcome to the December issue.
P.S. Stay connected between monthly issues by subscribing to our blog or by following us on social media. Also, explore our archives to discover more mothers' voices!
The End of a Circle : Blue Christmas by Jennifer Golden
Why You Love the Ocean by Karen Pojmann
The Messiah Could Have Gotten Listeria by Heather Lanier
Polar Guides by Sarah Burns
After Birth by Sarah Murphy-Kangas
In Your Room, a Moth, Trying to Get at the Light Source by Anna Gates Ha
Images by Nonki Azariah, Danilo Batista, Evelin Horvath, Nikko Macaspac, Mike Schaffner, Feliphe Schiarolli, Rui Silvestre, Sabato Visconti