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It is that time of year again…the season that brings joy with the lighting of the tree, the anticipation of Santa, drinking hot chocolate by the fire and for my girls and I, pulling out the box of treasured Christmas ornaments that my mom made us over the years. She has been gone for 2 years now and as we carefully unwrap each ornament she lovingly made we reflect on the memory it brings. It has become one of our most favorite events as we decorate the tree each year. The delicately painted reindeer adorned in silly hats with all our names on it makes us think of the endless rounds of tickling she engaged in just to bring more laughter into our lives. The shells with glitter bring memories of the many walks we shared on the beach collecting shells. The glass balls filled with ribbon represent her style and grace. And, then there are the ones she made while undergoing endless rounds of chemo which remind us of her bravery and courage as she fought cancer with such strength and determination. My girls are 9, 7 and 6 and even at their young age, they understand what a legacy means and they have such fond memories of their grandmother who is now their guardian angel.

This yearly occurrence enables her memory to stay alive as if she were sitting across the table from us engaged in a conversation listening to our every word. As we take time away from our busy lives and come together engaged in a Christmas tradition we are able to reflect on the beautiful memories she created and the selfless love she gave us all. I know many of you are missing a loved one also this holiday season and I hope this story will inspire you to find a tradition in which you can reflect on a legacy of someone not forgotten in your own life. Celebrate the many blessings this person brought to your life and reflect on the good times you shared. He or she would not want you to be sad and cultivating a ritual in their honor will fill your heart with love. May this holiday season bring you all a deep sense of peace and joy.

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