Family Traditions I Miss Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Growing up on the east coast, my family has a TON of Thanksgiving traditions that I have missed out on while being away at college.

A few of my favorite traditions that I miss are:

1. Indian Pudding – my mom’s special Thanksgiving dessert. Growing up, my family never ate dessert because we aren’t really sweets kind of people, we are much more of a meat and potatoes kind of family. Indian Pudding is made in the crock pot, and I am pretty sure it is the WORST dessert ever especially when paired with vanilla bean ice cream. Anyways, I really miss this dessert because it is part of my childhood and something that I always looked forward to during the holidays.

2. Decorating the Christmas Tree – The day after Thanksgiving was when my mom, dad and I would always decorate the house and the tree for Christmas. I really miss this because we would go through all of our ornaments and decide what we wanted the tree to look like each year. Whether it was all of the ornaments that my brother and I made during elementary school, a classic snowflake tree, or something crazy, it was always super fun to look back at my childhood to see how much I have grown.

3. Christmas Parties – When my family lived in Massachusetts as well as in Washington, we always had some party to go to whether it was for my dad’s work or just family friends, we would always be going out and doing things. Now that I am in college and my parents have moved to Florida, the social scene of the holidays has been lost.

4. Christmas with both sides of the family – When we lived in Massachusetts, my family had a tradition of having basically two Christmases every year. On Christmas Eve, we would go to Mass with my Mom’s side of the family and then head home for a huge dinner and presents. The next morning, we would wake up semi-early and have our family Christmas as well as an amazing breakfast cooked by my amazing almost chef Mother. After breakfast, we would get ready for the day and then head to my Memere’s house (my dad’s mom) for my Dad’s side of the family’s Christmas. I loved having Christmas with both sides of my extended family because I got to be the youngest when we were with my Mom’s family and the second oldest with my Dad’s family. It was always nice to see both sides of the Christmas spectrum every year.

Those are my top four favorite parts about the holidays that I miss the most as I become an adult. If you have any comments for any of these things, I urge you to comment! I will reply to your comments when I can!

A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Katie,

It is you 13th birthday. Mom and Dad are about to leave and move to Washington while you stay here in Massachusetts so you can go to camp this summer. They are not abandoning you, I promise. You are still young, don’t take life too seriously, okay?

I know you are feeling all sorts of emotions with mom and dad leaving, Matt just leaving for college and you having to stay here in Massachusetts jumping around from house to house all summer.

Allow me to help you clear up some of the question marks in your life.

This year will be the worst year you will ever have, you may excel in school but you will have no friends and be miserable because of that. Don’t lose help because you will meet the best friends of your life just a little bit later than everyone else in your school. There is no direction from this point but up.

You will fail Algebra and not know what you did wrong, your mom will get you a tutor and try to help you but she just doesn’t understand. You need to work hard to get where you want to go, never give up on your dreams.

Have the courage to speak up and protect the people around you. In college, you will learn abotu “bystander syndrome” but after being a trained lifeguard, being a bystander is impossible.

Speak up to a friend in your freshman year of college. Tell her you don’t like what she is doing with her life and that you need to take a break as friends. Do NOT follow the same path as her.

About five years from now you will figure out your passion in life. It will not be dance, singing or gymnastics. It will be something more creative and something you neer knew existed before this time. You will connect with some of the coolest people in your major that you will ever meet and connect with some of the best Communication professors in the nation.

Let me tell you something, you will do better in college than your brother, GASP! You will finally be better than him at something, just wait it’s going to be great!

Hang in there, Katie. Your world is about to change – you just don’t know it yet. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve.