How we Holiday: The Parkers share their Holiday


With a chorus of voices at Richmond Moms Blog, we all celebrate the holiday season a little differently.  On this post Social Media Manager, Crystal shares with us how the Parkers experience Christmas. 

Growing up, my family was quick to start decorating as soon as Thanksgiving was over, and the decorations came down just before New Years Eve. We were ones to enjoy it all month long, but there was no way we were going to  begin the New Year with all the holidays around us. Now as a mother with my own family, we have found our own way to Christmas, which focuses more on the reason for the season. 

In the Christian tradition, the weeks leading up to Christmas are period known as Advent. For many this doesn’t mean much, but as a seminary graduate, I know that advent comes from the Latin word “coming.” The weeks leading up to Christmas are about preparing for the coming birth, not celebrating what’s already happened. If time would permit and Christmas trees would be available, my household would certainly wait until Christmas Eve to decorate. We have learned that we have to settle for decorating a week or so prior at the risk of not being ready. While many we know are racing to take down their Christmas decorations on December 26th, we keep ours up through Epiphany. This day always falls on January 5th, and marks when the three Wise Men (aka Magi) arrived to meet the newborn king. While we won’t rush to take the decorations that day, we’ll typically enjoy them through the coming weekend.

While we may Christmas in away that is filled with waiting and longing for the season, we try to savor the days of Christmas. Twelve days never seems like quite enough, and we are grateful for the extra days following Epiphany before taking down all the decorations. We  have also learned to embrace and appreciate decorating a little earlier or face obstacles due to our waiting. Three years ago, we were almost without a Christmas tree a week before Christmas. My husband drove to at least three stores and two Christmas tree lots, which were all sold out. It was finally in the parking lot of a pawn shop that he was able to find a tree. Let’s just say, that the front of this tree was far better looking than the section hiding in the corner of our living room.

Most may not want to Christmas the way that we do, but we like the way it slows us down and gets us excited for what’s to come.

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Crystal is a lifelong Richmonder and mother of two girls. If you wonder how deep those RVA roots go...she was born at MCV, graduated from Mills E. Godwin High School, is a VCU alumna, and got her masters from Union Presbyterian Seminary. While attending seminary, she met her husband while working at the church where he grew up. This RVA gal is the is co-founder of The 91 Rewind, which she started with her childhood friend Erica. She hopes that her writing, both here and at The 91 Rewind, will help you take a moment to catch your breath, hit rewind, and try again. We can be far too hard on ourselves and we all deserve love and kindness, but we often forget to share it with ourselves. Crystal believes treating ourselves well sets the example for how we care for others. When Crystal is not chasing after pink, purple, and sparkles, I mean her daughters, you can find her working as a financial educator, investing in her community, enjoying local restaurants, blogging it up, and connecting with folks on social media (Instagram's her favorite).


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