20 Christmases

The tree came down today; as did the lights, the woodland creatures, and the snowman by the front door.  Another holiday season is behind us.

We celebrate the winter holiday season with a tree and presents because those are the traditions with which we were raised, no longer as a religious observance although the message of love, hope, and peace weaves its way through our consciousness this time each year.

Christmas 2017 was the 20th my husband and I have spent together. We’ve been married 13 of those years.

As long as we’ve known each other, dogs have been part of our family: first Tommy, then Polly (Border Collies), then Beggs (Beagle 1).  When Tommy and Polly died, Beggs was joined by Zena, then Jessie (Terriers).  Finally, a few months after Beggs passed away, Red (Beagle 2) joined our family.  So, this Christmas, Jessie, Zena, and Red shared our holiday meals.

As I put away the tree decorations, I smiled at the pictures and tags we’d kept of all six of our furry friends, the pictures that anchor their memories to the season.

I’m thankful for family and traditions that keep us grounded and together.

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The author of this blog lives and works in Santa Monica, California. Although born and raised in Toronto, Canada, she has lived in Southern California most of her life. She enjoys her job, running marathons and half marathons, traveling with her husband and (usually) their three dogs, as well as various arts and crafts including yarn arts and card making, and a diversity of creative expression.

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