What Hallmark And Christmas Candy Taught Me In July

Family: “life’s greatest blessing. A group that dreams, laughs, plays, and loves together. A group whom you can always count on. Always present not only in the good times. A precious gift.”. 

They say that it is not about what we have in life, but rather who. As a person from a large family on either side, I have always had a deep sense of what family means. There is just about nothing that I love more than sitting around the Thanksgiving table or staying up late with them on Christmas Eve. I have always had an innate appreciation for the small, precious, ordinary moments that make up my family and our traditions. The moments that seem to freeze all uncertainty and remind us of why we are here and what life is meant to be about. Love and tradition. It’s about sharing our experience with the ones we love.

On my mother’s side of the family, my grandparents’ home is a staple in my family. It is the staple I should say- the place where we come together; where memories are made. The place with the familiar smell, where the Hershey Kisses are always placed on the counter. A home base to 18 grandchildren, including myself.  And while Sunday dinners, holidays, and random summer days remind me of the place, nothing is as precious as Christmas spent in that home.

And so on this sweltering July day, as my grandmother was just taken home after bravely combating a pretty serious health scare, I was reminded of something. I was reminded of sitting in a crowded living room with my big family. And I was reminded of my grandmother and the smell of cinnamon that would fill the house each year as we made our Christmas candy. One Saturday sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A day I look forward to all year. 

And so, I found myself looking in on the doorway of life. The fragility of it so to speak. Where in one moment you are suddenly reminded of what is important. It reminded me that at the end of the day, what is most important are the moments you share with the people you love. 

So what did I do on yesterday’s hot July day? I watched a “Christmas in July” Hallmark movie with my grandmother upon her arrival home (as these movies are her favorite, and maybe mine too ;), and it made me think. I thought about all the years spent making Christmas candy with her. 

Traditions foster family connection and above all, create special memories. What are some traditions in your family? They can be big or small, simple or exciting- but all important nonetheless. Cherish the small moments with the people you love. They are the big moments.

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