I love how the holidays mean family traditions. There’s something comforting and familiar about the holiday season. Maybe it’s just all the eggnog but people seem to be happier this time of year. Sure there’s the occasional grumpy Grinch who wishes they could retreat to a holiday-less cave during the holiday season, but for the most part, everyone loves the holidays.

In my family, Thanksgiving was usually a pretty relaxing day. We kids slept in while my mom started cooking the feast. Once we all wandered out of bed, we would watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in our pj’s while eating fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls.

Once I got older, I had to start helping my mom in the kitchen. I detested it as I would have rather sat on the couch with my dad watching football or done something else that didn’t require physical effort. But now that I’m older and on my own, I’m so thankful I was coaxed to help. As a result, I’m able to cook my own Thanksgiving meal with little to no help of Google. But my mom definitely gets a couple texts from me about how to tell when the turkey is done.

On the occasional Thanksgivings where we went to visit my mom’s family in Alabama, all my aunts and uncles would gather at my grandmother’s house and bring all sorts of goodies. When I was younger, my cousins and I would go out back and play football until we were ready for the pumpkin pie or my grandma’s homemade carrot cake. Now, we talk about how they’re doing in college or how their job is going. Although our lives have changed and we’ve all gotten busy, we can still count on our family.

As a kid, I couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving to be over because that meant the Christmas season officially started in my family. The Saturday after, my family would get out the Christmas tree and we would decorate it while listening to Christmas music. I can still hear Bing Crosby singing “Silver Bells” while I was sipping on hot cocoa and helping my mom untangle the ornament hangers when I was 7.

Every year, my siblings and I would get an ornament that represented something that we did that year. It was fun to remember those times as we decorated the tree, like the year both my mom and I got the swine flu, we both got an ornament of a pig with wings. I still laugh every time I hang it on the tree.

Although it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I hope you’re able to take some time to reminisce of holiday’s past and remember what it’s really all about. Family, togetherness and memories.

Sheri Kotzum is a reporter for The Destin Log. She can be reached at skotzum@thedestinlog.com or 315-4353.