This is our 4th Christmas in Nashville. We moved from OR to TN in the summer of 2011. It was the scariest and greatest thing we’ve ever done! Living in a completely different culture has been challenging and fun all wrapped into one. Lots of new…still, to this day. But one thing hasn’t changed… Holidays just are not the same without family around.
I grew up in a big family. Holidays were crazy, hectic, and packed full of weird family members. The best!!!

Since marrying Brent, over 23 years ago, we have always spent our Holidays with his side of the family in Oregon. Those are some of my favorite years and memories.

Now, in Tennessee, we are having to create new Holiday traditions. Each year has been different. And to be honest, each year has been a tad hard for me. I love, love, love a Holiday house full of family, friends, and people I don’t know. But I am learning to soak in the simple and quiet, too. It has taught me to focus more intently on my husband and children. As they open their gifts on Christmas morning I am fully there. No distractions…just embracing the moment in all its beauty. Gathering on the couch after gifts and breakfast have been had and simply enjoying one another.

I’m trying hard to write this without it reading as sad. Because I’m not sad. I am grateful for what I have and for who I have to share it with. It’s just…different. And I’m only four years in to a 40+ year tradition change. I’ve spent a lifetime of Holidays spent one way. BUT…I love this new season! I wouldn’t change one single thing about it!

One of the things that has kept my heart at home is continuing the Birthday Cake Tradition. On Christmas Eve we bake a birthday cake for Jesus. This years cake is strawberry with cream cheese frosting. Christmas morning we have it for breakfast. We don’t sing Happy Birthday to Jesus anymore. The kids are much too old and cool for that. But we still eat the darn cake. Yes we do. And it’s awesome. And it’s familiar. And it’s fun. And it’s full of happy. And it fills my heart. And it reminds me, like…right now, why I have so much to be thankful for.

We are not without…we are basking in plenty.

So tell me…what does your Christmas look like?



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