Puzzles, luminaria, ornaments and being with others
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent invited readers to share the unique holiday traditions that their families celebrate.
We received answers from three families, each telling about a unique aspect of their holiday experience.
A fourth reader shared her experience from the most recent Thanksgiving, offering her insights on enjoying the love and fellowship of the holiday season.
51, Glenwood Springs
YouthZone Special Projects Coordinator
Our family tradition since I can remember is to take over the dining room table and make a jigsaw puzzle together. The puzzle comes out the first day the family gathers, and piece by piece it is assembled as friends and family come and go over the holiday season.
It is a great activity that entertains both young and old. And who gets to put in the last piece – this is where camaraderie ends and the competition begins, as each person hopes to claim the honor of completing the holiday puzzle.
Scott, 46, Land surveyor, Sonya, 42, Ross Montessori Head of School, and Molly 11, sixth-grader, Glenwood Springs
We put out luminaria bags each Christmas Eve in front of our house. This is a southwestern tradition we brought with us from Arizona. It’s so beautiful each year.
57, New Castle
Grand River Hospital Volunteer Manager and Meals on Wheels Manager
One Christmas tradition that has grown through the years is giving a special personalized ornament to each of my kids. Starting 29 years ago with a “baby’s first Christmas” ornament for Hannah and later Arrick, the number of ornaments doubled with the birth of the twins, Aaron and Zach, on Christmas Eve, 20 years ago.
I try to have the ornaments represent what has been going on in our lives that year. This means we have plenty of snow figures from the last 12 years of living in Colorado, and a cowboy boot from the boys’ birthplace, San Antonio.
I have often wondered what will happen to our tree when each kid wants their ornaments, but the answer came recently when I heard, through the family grapevine, that my youngest had gotten – guess what – ornaments for everyone this year.
The simple ritual has rolled on. Isn’t that what tradition is all about?
Each day is a gift from God. How do we respond?
Catholic Charities and Feed My Sheep in Glenwood Springs work hard at helping all in need.
My friend Karen Peppers, who is in charge of Feed My Sheep, along with Jeff Hutson and Dwight Doepke, who never quit serving, allowed me to share in their love of the homeless by giving me the opportunity to provide simple baked goods and some baskets of fruit for all of us.
All holidays can be a challenge. We cannot always be with family and friends. When these times come, we must allow our maker to take over, and he does.
Very early Thanksgiving morning, Jeff Hutson transported all my baked goods and fruit baskets to Feed My Sheep. He left me off so I could catch the bus to St. Mary’s in Aspen for Mass and communion. There was much joy and sharing in the coffee hour after Mass.
God took over in all of it. It was a spectacular day, and as I walked along gazing at the mountains, a sweet woman came up to me and said, “The lift is free today. Go up and enjoy the scenery.” God was in it all. I savored every moment.
After a while I returned to Glenwood Springs to Feed My Sheep. Before we dug in to all that wonderful food, I was allowed to read the lovely prayer that Father John Hilton had given to all of us who attended his Mass earlier that day in Aspen.
The best part was that there was a great deal of hugging, kissing and sharing. As Saint Therese of Lisieux says, “Everything is a grace.”
Never be alone for any holiday. Whether you are with family, friends, or anyone God puts in your path, give a lot of love by smiling, hugging and sharing all the gifts God has given us.
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Over 75,000 hikers visited Hanging Lake during this year’s peak season. Via signage, the city hopes to point more of those hikers also in the direction of downtown Glenwood Springs.