We’ve moved away from everything “winter” recently, when our family packed it up, left the midwest and headed to Scottsdale. It’s been almost seven months, and a huge transition, but we’re getting there.
Today, just a couple of days before Christmas, I suggested to my three kids that we take a walk to Starbucks for some treats and hot chocolates. The kids had shorts on, and the boys grabbed their skateboards. While there is no snow here, there are still tons of decorations and everyone we meet is filled with the Christmas spirit. We have to remind each other that Santa visits everyone, no matter if there is snow, or homes without chimneys, or if we live in the desert with scorpions and rattlesnakes and cacti. This is our home now. It’s time to make new traditions.
In the Midwest
When we lived in Illinois, we had a ton of snow. It was always freezing. It screamed “Winter Wonderland.” Christmas songs had meaning! White Christmas, Sleighbells Ringing, Baby It’s Cold Outside!? It’s hard not to laugh (or sometimes cry, when we hear these songs now).
We had different traditions when we lived in different weather. We would go into the city for a couple of nights, visit the Lincoln Park Zoo to see the light display, and freeze our tushies off. My daughter and I would go to a museum while the boys hit ESPN Zone. We would all go to the top of the John Hancock building and stare in wonder at the city that sprawled out under us.
On Christmas Eve, we would all go to church and then head to a Chinese restaurant a la The Christmas Story because we created that tradition years ago and it was fun, and we all like Chinese food.
Now that we’re here, some of our traditions will obviously have to change. We created a new one last night. Pizza at a fun restaurant and a visit to see Santa where we all sat with him and told him what our wishes were. (I forgot to tell him mine, probably because I didn’t have a direct wish at the moment – I was extremely content with my family.)
And we’re going to continue with our Christmas Eve church service and Chinese food, because that’s always been fun. They also make zoos in Arizona too, with holiday lights, and animals, but guess what? We won’t be freezing our tushies off this year when we make faces at the monkeys!
The most important lesson I’m learning through this big transition in my family’s life is that this is what it is: A transition. But even more so, is that we’re all together, and we’re all doing things as a family, leaning on one another, learning from one another, and continuing to love one another, no matter if there’s snow or not.
Peace to you all this holiday season, whether you’re buried in snow or soaking up the sun, as long as you’re with loved ones and healthy, that’s all that really matters!