In a few days, we'll head out to the train station to pick up Mari's first mom, Beth. We will exchange gifts, see some pretty holiday light displays, have dinner with my parents.
Later that evening we'll pile onto the big couch in the family room and pop Elf in the DVD player. It's one of the Christmas movie greats, in my mind, with Buddy's unabashed certainty that he has a place both with the family into which he was born and the family in which he was raised.
This will be the third year we've done this little Christmas visit routine. It would be the fourth, had we not gotten snowed in on Mari's first Christmas. The familiarity of it, the feeling that we don't even have to plan it each year but rather just pick a date, makes me happy. And my favorite part of all is watching the movie together, comfortable and cozy and a little bit sleepy from a day of holiday fun. When we called Beth this year to iron out arrival times and such, she brought it up, too. "Oh, Elf! It's one of my favorite movies. I can't wait to watch it again with you guys."
I think of traditions as memories anticipated. I like that we're creating traditions with Beth, as simple as they are; memories that will be part of what Mari and Eddie's childhood.
Read other adoption bloggers' holiday memories at the latest open adoption roundtable