Merry Christmas: What I learned from my family

December 21, 2018 | by Mary Lou Mastro

Visiting Santa with my sister and brother (I'm on the right)

The December holiday season has always been a magical time for me.

I believe it is deeply rooted in the traditions we enjoyed as a family. Every year my family would get a Christmas tree and decorate it together. We would bake holiday cookies and mess up the kitchen something terrible!

The kids (I had four sisters and one brother) would pull out the Sears catalog and circle the items we wanted. Although we knew we couldn’t have everything we requested, we believed Santa would bring that one special gift for each of us.

Every Christmas morning Mom would gather us together before opening our presents to sing happy birthday to Baby Jesus. Then Dad would turn around and lead us in singing happy birthday to my mother. Yep, mom was born on Christmas day! And of course, we had two weeks off school to play together and enjoy winter activities like sledding, snow ball fights and hot chocolate.

Through my family I learned the true meaning of Christmas—it is about giving to others, spending time with family, and enjoying traditions.

I learned that by sharing, each of us had more than our one gift. I learned that there is no disagreement between siblings that is so important we cannot play together and stay together.

I learned that, as the years march by and time changes all of us, our traditions remain strong and meaningful.

As an adult I have learned, even after the passing of my parents and my sister, Pat, that the memories and lessons are alive and they remain part of my holiday season.

Sled-Joy-2016

My grandsons

Regardless of your religion or belief system, I hope you enjoy your traditions, your family and your friends during this holiday season.

I wish you all the very best in 2019. Happy Holidays to all of you, and Happy Birthday, Mom!

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