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Family Tradition

I am all about tradition. When I think about tradition, I get a sense of safety and security. It is something that I can count on and look forward to. I love it---and I make sure it happens even when it drives my husband bonkers.  

This one really gets him:  Every Christmas when putting up the Christmas tree, I want to have everyone put it up together and Christmas music must be playing. However, it is not just any Christmas music--- it is Mariah Carey’s Christmas. And we don’t start with any other song than “All I want for Christmas is You.”  Yep. I look forward to that. 

Then we put up the ornaments on the tree. Every ornament has a story as we have been intentional about purchasing ornaments from every big vacation or occasion we have journeyed together. And I get to remember those stories as we put the ornaments on the tree. That is so special—from the ornament of our first house, to the ornament of our son, Wesley’s, first Christmas, to some of our favorite trips—they are all there. What I look forward to is the day when we will be able to tell Wesley about each ornament and the special story behind them, plus Wesley will be able to add his own. 

Our tree feels like a tree that has the most bizarre ornaments on it, but it is a remembrance of all that God has done and all that He is doing in our lives. I love that it allows us to slow down and remember the joy and good memories He has given us. 

Family Recipe

My mom is one of my most favorite people in the world. Just today she texted me to tell me that both she and my dad were proud of me—and I am 35 years old. I sit with people in counseling sessions that yearn to hear those words from either parent.  I am grateful and thankful. One thing that I am also thankful for is that my mom had a special treat she would make for Christmas, candy cane cookies. When I moved out, I tried to make them myself—and they were a disaster. I burned them on the bottom and the colors all twisted together in to one weird-looking candy cane.  All that to say—I probably should call my mom and have her share her secrets to making them.  The secret that I can share is to make them with someone---that is what makes these so special. They are fun to make with those you love. Make these cookies an experience—not only in the making of them, but also in the sharing of them (even if they are burnt on the bottom). 
See the Candy Cane Cookie recipe here

Lindsey Castleman, marriage and family counselor Connect with her at Sign up for the next marriage event at