Leslie and I ran some errands today. We finished up some Christmas shopping. Every year, since Ethan was born (Allison, too), she has bought them a book with some sort of special meaning to her, and she writes a message to them. This was her "thing", and both of my kids have a nice assortment of really awesome books, all with personalized messages on the inside cover.
Last year, she never once mentioned gifts. Nothing about giving or receiving. Last year she was pretty literally a blank slate. Void of all expression and emotion. The hardest part of the holidays last year with her was the fact that I knew the book giving was something that was VERY near and dear to her...and she had zero desire to do it.
This year, she remembered. Since she can't drive, she was so thankful that I offered to take her out to Barnes and Noble to get books. Flash back again to last year: Last year when we would shop, she would just wander aimlessly. Now, mind you, she has never been much of a shopper, but she could do what needed to be done. Last year, again, she was blank. Empty. Zero desire. This year, the first thing I noticed as we entered the book store was she instantly started browsing. I did have to help her a little, but overall, she did it herself and she knew, without any reminders, that once again, this was her tradition with my kids, and she was carrying it on.
I love routines and traditions. Christmas Eve is my very favorite day of the entire year, all because of our family tradition. This year, I am so, so thankful that our traditions are continuing on.