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  • Keep Holiday Traditions Alive by Sharing Them With Others

    It’s that time of year again: time to put up the tree, hang the lights, and pick through the big box of ornaments to see which ones made it from last year (following the January 2nd “holiday purge”). Time once again, in other words, to honor some cherished traditions.

    I love the sights and sounds of the winter holidays — but not until after Thanksgiving, and certainly not the day after Halloween, when the advertisers start making noise. I don’t mean to sound like The Grinch, but Christmas carols sung in October quickly become as stale as last year’s candy corn. I learned many years ago, after burning holes in my parents’ new carpet while checking if those huge, red, blue and green lights were working, that Christmas is special and needs to be handled with care (just like new, red shag carpet). Of course, once the tree is dead (or maybe it’s dead already because it wasn’t live to start with), I am just plain over it and ready for summer.

    Traditions don’t last, and don’t have lasting value,
    unless you share them with others.

    But I digress. Let’s spend some time talking about holiday traditions. I am sure you have your own, and I love sharing mine. For instance, chestnuts! I remember my parents would put those funny, round nuts in a pan and roast them in the fireplace. (I suspect that’s where they got the lyrics to the song.) And we loved them!

    I also remember there was always one gift per child on Christmas Eve, which was cool. And after opening, my sister and I would dress in the same bright red-and-white-striped PJs and lay in bed. She made sounds to pretend the reindeer were on our roof, though I never let on that I knew she was tapping the side of the bed. Nor did I ever tell her I heard the stomping on our roof again, much later at night, when my parents got home from their neighborhood Christmas Eve party. I knew they heard the noise too, because it was so loud it sounded like the thumping was coming through their bedroom wall.

    Another tradition I’m fond of involved each of us writing a Christmas or seasonal poem to print out and paste in the holiday cards my Mom sent out. She mailed about 246 cards each year, and I’m sure she was a fan favorite at the post office. I have posted some of the originals on my Facebook page so you can see them. And I challenge you to write one and share it on my page, too. Don’t stress over it; just write something, anything, and share!

    And that’s the key to keeping the Antisdel — and your — holiday traditions alive. The spirit of giving, right? Traditions don’t last, and don’t have lasting value, unless you share them with others. And that’s my gift to you. Happy holidays, everyone!

    Judith E. (“Judy”) Antisdel is Founder and President of AT Direct in Baltimore, Md. She has earned professional designations ranging from US Postal Service Non Profit Specialist to US Postal Service Mail Manager. She is a frequent guest speaker at symposia and workshops offered by the federal government and various non-profit organizations. Connect with Judy.

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