Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Christmas Tradition

This is my Christmas Tradition.....It is kind of long to read but it may just be what you or someone you know may need to get thru the holidays...

Christmas time for most of us is our favorite time of year but for many it becomes a very sad and difficult time to struggle thru after you have lost a loved one. Please read what I have to share with you so that you may find your Christmas spirit again. Perhaps you have not lost a loved one...Well then maybe you can share this with some one that has and make a big difference in their holiday.

I lost my Dad 15 yrs ago and found that Christmas had a whole different meaning now. Instead of the the warm holiday spirit that my family always enjoyed with a great passion it was replaced with such a huge sadness and painful emptiness that was unbearable and seemed to grow worse when each holiday rolled around.

I began what I call my Christmas tradition that has helped me find my Christmas spirit and with each year it has grown and once again I am able to enjoy the holidays. It all began a few years after I lost my Dad......I still had to go thru the motions of Christmas because I had two little girls and so tried very hard to hide my pain. I used to love Christmas but now had grown to hate this time of year. I had to shop for Christmas gifts for the children but avoided the Christmas department with all the decorations and such like they were selling the plague! And then they would play that Christmas music thru out the store that was sure to have me standing in the middle of Walmart crying my eyes out. Sound familiar, or perhaps It's just me.

It is kind of hard to buy wrapping paper with out entering the dreaded Christmas department so I intended to make this quick. As I made my way back down the aisle with paper in hand a little gold trumpet caught my eye, not that I was looking for anything but it kind of jumped out at me and said, DAD! My father was a musician and among the many intstruments he played the trumpet was what he had played since he was a young boy. Tears welled up in my eyes and felt the urge to just flee out of the store but instead I picked up the little trumpet and wept in the middle of Walmart yet again.

I bought the ornament and hung it on my tree that year. I still had many episodes of tears thru out that holiday but each time I looked at Dad's trumpet hanging on the tree I felt as though in a way he was with me that year. The little gold trumpet is a tribute to his memory and began the healing of my Christmas spirit. I have since each year bought an ornament or some sort of decoration in memory of my Dad.
I can't tell you how much that has helped me and brings a warm and happy feeling to my heart each year. I am doing something with that grief and have found a way to still include my Dad's memory in my holiday celebration! He would not have wanted me to let my holiday spirit die with him.

I since have lost my Mother as well and each year I buy an angel in memory of her. Many others have adopted my tradition the past couple years and found that this has helped them as well and with each year their hearts and Christmas spirit heals a little more with each holiday. In addition to our 7 ft tree with all the trimmings I now have a tree especially for all those "tradition ornaments" that I call my tribute tree. It is a little not quite 3 ft artificial tree that I sit on the end of my dining room table that sits in front of the window. It takes me about 3 hours to decorate it each year with the many ornaments I have collected for Dad, Mom and a few other loved ones. It does not make me sad but is decorated with love and great memories of each person and pet.

Yes....I even have ornaments in memory of my horse Cherokee and "Gumpy" my cat.
Hey, what ever helps us thru a difficult time, I say, do it! Our pets become as family members and is painful to lose as well. Gumpy had a favorite green bulb he would steal off the tree. He is no longer with us but his favorite bulb is still hung on the tree inspite of all the scratches on it. I wrote his name with Elmers Glue on the bulb and sprinkled glitter on it so it now bears his name.

I know that you are probably thinking nothing could help the dreadful pain you are feeling with each day as the holidays approach but believe me you would be surprised how a tiny symbol of your love and memory of your loved one will give you just the little shove you need to begin to heal. My Aunt Mary loved Cardinals so my cousin Judy buys something with cardinals each Christmas. Think of something that reminds you of that person and go buy that ornament today. I know that I can not be the only person that has stood in a department store during the holidays with tears in her eyes.

Share this post with anyone you like. My hope is that my tradition will help others this holiday. If you would like to contact me about my
tradition email me at mycherokee@earthlink.net

p.s. I have shared my tradition every year for about 12years and have heard back from so many people that decided to join in my Christmas Tradition and found it very helpful thus it became my Tradition.....

Corry Geissinger


  1. I am so happy to see you post again, and what a wonderful post it is. You have voiced a hidden well probably for a lot of people. And I think your tradition is a beautiful one.

  2. What a beautiful story, Corry. It is one I shall not soon forget. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. What a lovely story to share about your loved ones. I hang a ornament each year that my mom used to have on her tree, it makes me think of all the fun times we had during the holiday season with my mom and dad, I also have a card with a crocheted wreath in it that my husbands mother made many years ago and I attach that to my frig each year. Another thing I do is bake some of my dads favorite cookies, which has become a favorite of my kids now. Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    Debbie Narum

  4. Thank you so much for sharing, I now know what to do this Christmas.

  5. What a wonderful tradition! I have a box of very old ornaments that belonged to my mom's cousin (a very special woman in my life). I've had them so long that I don't even remember how I got them, she's been gone for almost 30 years. I think this year I will get them out of their box. Thanks for sharing. I hate to be saying this already, but here goes--Merry Christmas!