Thursday, December 03, 2009

twinkle lights

I’ve been thinking a lot about traditions and family lately. This always comes to mind during the holiday season. You see, I don’t have a lot of extended family. It’s just my parents, siblings and I. I’ve never had big family dinners to go to, Christmas time isn’t filled with traveling and visiting. I’ve never woken up on Christmas morning to my grandmothers signature breakfast, or made my great aunts famous sugar cookies. I don’t have recipe books filled with page after tattered page of age old family recipes, passed down through the generations.

Sometimes I wish I did. I think, wouldn’t it be great to sit around a table, surrounded by grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins? It would, of course, but that’s just not the hand I was dealt in life.

I was given an amazing, loving family though. I was placed here on purpose. I live in this house full of laughter and singing. Our Christmas mornings are small and happy, filled with smiles and thanks. We make our own traditions, like our silly gingerbread houses, handmade ornaments and my brothers goofy santa hat, and although they aren’t decades old, they mean something to us. And that’s what matters, right? So, although there’s a part of me that longs for a huge extended family and the traditions that come with that, I remind myself that it’s what you do have that counts, and I’m beyond blessed.

29 comments:

  1. I hear you. For years it was just me and my mom, cozy and quiet. Makes me love boisterous gatherings at friends' houses. This year, I've invited friends to our house for Christmas dinner. I get to cook for them, and I can't wait.
    -Kylie

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  2. Such a beautiful post about what matters. You get to make your own traditions and I for one think that makes them more special! Gorgeous photo too!

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  3. Well said! I need to remind myself daily (hourly) how blessed I am.

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  4. very nicely done...some of us are creating the traditions of the future.
    happy december.

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  5. Stunning photo!

    I think we all want something we can't have. I have a huge family, and even though I know that I'm so blessed, sometimes I wish they all lived really far away, like on another planet! :) But like you said, we are all dealt a certain hand and we are lucky to have what we do have! PS My grandmother has secret recipes, but she won't give out the secrets!!!

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  6. I'm an only child and have always longed for a large extended family, with crazy antics and heartfelt traditions.
    I figure, all these years without are just preparing me for the traditions I want to instill in future generations.

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  7. Hannah,
    You seem like the kind of person that would LOVE a large extended family. So I am going to say a prayer for you right now that God will bring you a husband with a large, loving, fun family. I found that in my husband and have loved all 13 years so far. Blessings to you!!

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  8. I know right where you're coming from - my mom's family is half a country away, so it was always just the four of us - mom, dad, my sister and I. I actually liked it that way, with no age-old family squabbles or issues like that. Instead, we have our own traditions, which I wholeheartedly enjoy.
    PS I <3 bokeh. Sparkly, shiny, beautiful bokeh :)

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  9. I think you are definitely blessed. I do have a large extended family, but love spending Christmas morning with my immediate family - parents and siblings. That is what really matters. I am very blessed, too.

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  10. Hannah,
    Your story reminds me of my own. The cool thing about it, is that you are creating amazing memories for your family, and thereby creating for your family what you never had.
    Awesome. Beautiful. Happy Holidays!

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  11. Growing up we had large family gatherings, but then as life went on, family drifted apart for one reason or another, and then we started to have dinners with our close friends, who became our family in a way.

    The holidays are what you make of them, and there is no time like the present to start your own traditions! And besides, traveling is overrated. Even though we live close to our families, we still spend about 5 hours in the car over the course of a few days in order to see everyone. I'd much rather stay at home.

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  12. I do have an extended family, but they are all across the world in China. I, too, long to share the holidays and other important times with them (I've missed 2 of my cousins' weddings in the last few years). But luckily my mom lives not 30 minutes away and my boyfriend's family has welcomed me to their gatherings with open arms. What a lovely photo you have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and art with us.

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  13. This is such a beautiful post Hannah. You are right to be thankful for what you have! Most of the time we look at what we don't have, instead of what we do. Thanks for the reminder.

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  14. Sometimes having your friends for the holidays is more pleasant than having all your family....shhh don't tell my family that I said that! When you guys come over for our prime rib Christmas is one of the most special things about Christmas to me! I can't wait!

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  15. What a sweet post. I have exactly the same situation - it is just my parents, my brother and I, and we don't go anywhere for the holidays because there isn't any family to see. I used to feel a little envious of other people's big families, too, but at some point I came to see the beauty in my little one. :) Nice to know I'm not alone!

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  16. I agree...you absolutely are blessed not only with your family that you speak so lovingly about but with your photography talent. Your pictures are amazing. So inspiring. I'm so thrilled that I stumbled upon your blog. Thank you for sharing. Carrie - La Pomme de Portland

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  17. Your family sounds like mine!

    It was always just the five of us. Then my sister and I got married the same year (and she married a man with two small boys), and two years after that, my niece came along.

    So, where there were five, now there are ten – plus all of our in-laws!

    And holidays that once were close and quiet and peaceful are now rowdy and full of hide-and-seek and freeze tag.

    There's a time for everything.

    Now I get to BE the aunt I always wished I'd had, and that is something cool and totally unexpected.

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  18. My father's family is huge and I have many cousins. I did grow up spending holidays around a large table surrounded by family and filled with food and I miss it. It seems everyone scatters as they get older. Now we are all over the United States, but I have my memories and they are good. You are right about appreciating what we have. I'm happy to have my memories and very happy with the present as well. Enjoy your gingerbread house building and ornament making!

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  19. Blessing come in many different packages. You do have traditions, goofy santa hat and all.
    Mimi

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  20. What a beautiful post, such lovely words and gorgeous photography. I just happened to stumble upon your blog and I'm glad I found you. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Your Christmastime sounds perfect to me! Such a lovely post and I just adore your photo!

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  22. I agree. What I like is my parents had their traditions and I have kept some of those, but combined them with traditions of our own. It makes us all happy!

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  23. It's as if you visited my brain and wrote down what you saw!
    I couldn't agree more, and I'm happy to realise that I'm not the only one:)
    Also, fantastic photo!

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  24. beautiful picture, and beautiful post.

    ~ashley

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  25. Thank you for being the daughter that others want. You have talents I wish I had. It was the best day of my life when you came in my life so small and beautiful. Our traditions are ours and you are a big part of it. Love ya Daddy

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  26. Your family sounds lovely. This post was so well written & it's nice to see how much you love & appreciate your small, sweet family! xo.

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  27. Like you I'm right where I'm supposed to be! :) I am blessed to be starting new traditions with my children and passing along some of the old ones. (Yay, I get to ditch the ones I didn't like!)~ingrid

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  28. My favorite cookie has to be chocolate chip, but not just any. I have perfected my recipe, and am a bit of a snob about others. I will definitely try your recipes though, and let you know how they compare. Thanks!

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  29. In a large bowl, whisk together the ateş ve su buz devri brown sugar, melted butter, flour and salt. Add in the eggs, maple syrup This dish is really amazing to eat.As there has been mixed many awesome ingredients kaktüs adam so it should be delicious for everyone.I would like to make this dish and will eat with my family.

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