And besides a brief mishap with a toppled over tree, there is happiness, coziness and excitement in the air.
Last night, as I drove our daughter home from dance class in the dark, she piped up from the back seat, "I love the way we all stay home together at Christmas time."
Now that our children are older, I've noticed a growing appreciation for the things that don't come in gift wrap.
I watched the way they gently cradled the beloved Black Labrador ornament that we hang in honour of our much-loved family dog.
After a scary experience and discussion about less fortunate families, they set aside bags and asked to head to the grocery store to fill them for the food bank.
And then, while standing in front of our carefully hung stockings the other day, our six-year-old asked why two were different. I told her they were given to her siblings by their grandma when they were babies.
She turned and said, "I think she would like all of us to have those special stockings."
We put off finishing the collection, because it was hard to accept the tradition wouldn't be continued by the one who started it.
Even with the simplest of words, our kids teach us the greatest of lessons. I finally ordered the rest of the stockings — the ones she would have chosen.
Tradition is a beautiful gift and I know they will treasure the stockings because of who they represent; like the ornament that has a special place on our tree.
As poignant as this season can be, I know there are many who will feel heartache and loss. I hope all of you can find comfort and joy in tradition.
Music from my childhood always helps me to find mine. Here is a link to a holiday download — it's beautiful. Enjoy.