Do you remember the first time your family Christmas traditions changed? Mine did not change when I was married. Don’s family had always celebrated Christmas Day. My family had always celebrated Christmas Eve. Don and I were fortunate that we blended into each other’s family’s traditions. I can still remember the excitement of introducing Don to my family’s Christmas traditions and the delight I experienced sharing Don’s family’s Christmas. Little did I realize that 3 Christmas’ after our marriage, my family’s Christmas would change because of my Mom’s death. Memories of the rawness of all my family’s emotion that first Christmas Eve without Mom still linger.
In the years that followed my Mom’s death, Christmas Eve tradition changed. My brother James’ job often found him working on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. Patrick, my other brother wandered in and out of the family. My sister and I tried to make sure we were with our Dad on Christmas Eve. Eventually my Dad remarried. I have been blessed with a wonderful “step-Mom” who has brought joy to my Dad’s life.
When Don’s Mom, Libbie, became a full time Naples resident Christmas traditions changed again. I will never forget our first Christmas morning in Naples and the sight of my Mother-in-Law waking us up wearing a two piece Christmas red bathing suit and a Santa hat! Whether we were celebrating Christmas with my Mom-in-Law in Naples or in Chicago land, she kept this tradition although, when she celebrated Christmas in Chicago land with us, she would wear long under ware under her Christmas costume!
Don and I found Christmas traditions changing once more when we moved to Naples in 1996. We were fortunate to have Libbie with us for the first four years we lived here. (We have a wonderful photo of Libbie leading the Conga line with her walker taken at her assisted living’s Millennium party.) Since Libbie has passed away, there have been some Christmas’ we have had family in town and other Christmas’ we have been without family members. With or without family for the holidays, since we have lived in Naples, we have always decorated the house for Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed the festive holiday events in the Naples area. I love watching the Naples downtown’s Christmas parade! We also enjoy taking a holiday trip up to Universal Orlando to see the Macy’s Christmas parade.
Have you just moved to Naples and find that you will not be with family this Christmas? This will give you a wonderful chance to start another Christmas tradition for yourself. Take time to view the downtown Christmas parade. Visit Snowfest where snow is carted into Naples at the Golden Gate Community Park. Stop and tour Christmas at Palm Cottage. Listen to Christmas music this evening at Cambier Park. Make plans to see the Living Christmas Trees. View the Venetian Bay Christmas Boat Parade. Take a trip to Bealls and buy your self some new Christmas ornaments with Floridian flavor. There is a great deal to see and do in Naples over the holidays and these events are just waiting for you to participate.
While Don and I will be without family this Christmas, we will share the holiday spirit with the good friends we have made in Naples. Where ever you are this holiday season, I sincerely hope you have a happy holiday and a wonderful 2010 that finds you traveling to Naples.
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About the author:
Lynn Wilber is a Real Estate Professional who lives in Naples. Her 31 years of real estate experience and her area expertise have been valuable resources for Naples Sellers and Buyers. For more information, please contact Lynn Wilber or call 239-594-2780.
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