Question: Have your holiday traditions changed since becoming a widow?

For the most part I would say no. I blogged yesterday about how the holidays are difficult for anyone facing a loss and most definitely someone who has lost a spouse. Holidays aren't the same and there is pain in moving forward with traditions when Joel is not there to be a part of them. Because he should be. That won't ever change. 

So yes, in that regard the holidays are hard. But in life, especially with young kiddos, you have to keep going. I don't ever want my children not to feel the magic of holidays because of my sadness. They deserve better. No matter how difficult it may be for me I try to put my feelings aside and make it a special time for them. 

We were only blessed with one set of holidays as a family of three and it was incredible. But thankfully I had a full decade of holidays with my Husband. Many were spent dreaming of what we wanted the holidays to look like once we were finally able to have children. I only got to experience those dreams but once, but it was beautiful beyond words. 

Sadly, both of my husband's parents passed away (from cancer) both before & at the beginning of Joel and my relationship. That leaves my parents as sole grandparents to my babies, whom they adore. We spend the holidays with them and my siblings for Thanksgiving. For Christmas we include my Grandma, some of my aunts, uncles and cousins as well. 

I wouldn't say we go crazy for the holidays. Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks over a yummy meal. I love that it's a holiday about simply being thankful. It's also my favorite holiday because food is involved and was my ever-thrifty husbands favorite because of Black Friday deals. He even went out shopping the year he was going through chemo-talk about dedication. ☺

To me celebrating Christmas is about celebrating Christ's birth. I try not to go wild in making it about things that it's not. Joel and I both agreed that we wanted to keep it simple as far as gift giving for our kids on that day. Every year since they were born we have gotten them something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read and something to give. For our something to give we give to a charity near and dear to our hearts as a family. We believe that keeps things focused on what really matters. 

At the core that's what I believe the holidays should be about focusing on what matters. Being thankful for what you have and who you have to share it with, remembering always what a precious gift this thing called life is. 

Thank you so much for your question Yolanda!