Keep Smiling

Evolving family traditions and celebrating my mom


As our family has grown over the years, family traditions have evolved.

After my parents divorced, each holiday was different from what I had grown up with for my first 18 years. Since I’m a big fan of traditions and holidays are important in our family, this change was depressing. Sometimes we were celebrating holidays on different dates (Christmas on Christmas Eve, for example). While I understood the practical reasons for this, I was always experiencing a sense of loss of what was and the times when things seemed simpler.

And in more recent years, the loss of my grandparents has radically changed our family holidays – until their last years, they spearheaded our most important family get-togethers, my grandmother spreading magic to whatever she touched and my grandfather supporting her in every step.

Now that I’ve had a little bit of time (20+ years), I got used to the idea that change is inevitable, even when it comes to family holidays. With an extended family through both of my parents’ second marriages, we have more family to celebrate with. And while no two holidays are the same, each is special in its own way and I’ve learned that the holidays are about love and family and that not much else matters.

My mom has taken over where my grandmother left off as the magic-maker and she continues to amaze us all with her thoughtfulness, generosity and endless love. That’s why celebrating her at mother’s day is always one of my favorite holidays of all. And while we eat dinner at the early hour of 6pm so that my step-siblings’ kids can join, we even celebrate on the actual Mother’s Day.

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The Author


An LA native with a big streak of New Yorker, Amy Stanton brings her passion and enthusiasm to everything she does.