The Change in Tradition

The year that Will was born, his dad and I decided that we always wanted him to wake up in our home on Christmas morning. We wanted him to wake up to the gifts we had gotten for him, to a breakfast we had prepared for him, and to a true sense of family warmth.

Dec 25 99 (3)
Little Will opening presents, Christmas 1999

We would always put our Christmas tree up, at the latest, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The Christmas lights would also be hung (crooked or not) that same weekend.

We kept that tradition alive until we moved to Allen. There were a couple of times when he barely made it home for the holiday because he had always worked as a consultant, but he was there. Then there was the one year we spent Christmas here at my mom’s. It was one of the best we ever had, but it was a deviation from our tradition.

The year that I had the brain hemorrhage, my family came to our house. I couldn’t have been happier because I needed their presence. I needed my mama.

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Fast forward to Christmas 2012 and the tradition would become defunct. After my ex-husband told me he wanted the divorce on November 9th of that year, naturally, there would be no more Hinton Family Christmas traditions. Will and I spent the actual holiday with my family and William spent that time in Maryland with his family. The tradition had ended, but new ones had begun.

The fact that he wouldn’t be waking up in his own house took its toll on Will’s mental state. Sure enough, we were both showered with love from my family, but the fact that he would wake up somewhere other than his bedroom on Ceylon Street in Denver or Carnegie Court in Allen was hard on him. He’s grown up so much over the past few years. He’s no longer a little boy — he’s a father, college athlete, and all around good guy. One day, he’ll have a family of his own and they’ll establish their own traditions.

In the coming years, when we’re back in our own permanent home, we’ll establish new physical traditions. Meanwhile, we’ll be making memories.

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