Two of my favorite holiday traditions happened this week: The Ornament Exchange and The Cloverhill Holiday Dinner. They represent friendships that have spanned the years and weathered many ups and downs.
The women in the ornament exchange are all among my most long-lasting and enduring friendships-at least one I've known since I was about 17.
Over the years, the ornaments I've collected have become sweet reminders of the times we've spent together. This gathering even spans moves and changes because it was begun by my friend Jill before she moved to Omaha, and it goes on without her here, but I always think of her. Now we have a new friend-but she is the sister of an old friend, so I've known and spoken her name for many years. It's like she was always with us. So fun.
The women of Cloverhill Yarn Shop are the wonderful people I've worked with over the years. Some have become intimate friends and others are respected colleagues, and all are admired.
I have more gatherings of both friends and family coming up, and I will trade a lot of the trappings and usual holiday expectations to make sure my schedule will allow for these precious memories. It really is the relationships that matter. I love the gifts and the ornaments and the food, because they remind me of the relationships, but just as they discovered down in Whoville, even if all that were gone, what matters most would remain.