I've been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I was to have had so many years of continuity with all of the holiday traditions that my family celebrated. I spent 33 Christmas Eves at my grandmother's house with my cousins. 33 years is a long time. It grew to include our spouses and children, her house was literally filled with laughter. There was the hole we felt after my grandfather died and then again after my dad was gone and then when my grandmother's brother passed away. Always moments of remembering in our way individual way, but still merrymaking to be had. My father would put the money envelopes we were given in his shirt pocket. I loved that. The windows would fog up with all of us crammed in there, so we'd have to open the front door. My brother would have us listen to his fire scanner as the local "authorities" tracked Santa. Hess trucks would be coveted. Pizza was consumed. Yes, pizza. This all encompassing tradition has now ended, new ones will begin, the Hess trucks remain. How lucky though that I had an obnoxious amount of years of expectations that were quite literally always met.