For my family, traditions have always been a part of the holidays, and they don't revolve around things at all, but spending treasured time with one another. Though our family has changed over the years, many of the staples have remained: We’ll have Christmas Eve together, singing carols in the church by candlelight; we’ll wake up early Christmas morning to fresh-baked cinnamon rolls; we’ll have Christmas crackers at dinner on Christmas day... And we’ll have some new traditions this year because of a sentimental gift that was sent my way. One of my aunts sent embroidered stockings to me and my boyfriend, and even included a small one for our dog. To me, this was so much more than just a sweet Christmas gift; it was a signal to us to start forming our own traditions. The traditions that follow us at the holidays seal the deal on our family closeness. Though they have morphed over the years to accommodate far-away members, significant others, divorce, births, and other life circumstances, the core of traditions stays the same. It's all about spending meaningful time with one another. As I contemplate this holiday season, where gift-giving takes the back seat to being with those I love, it’s easy to see why the little things matter so much. And it’s also exciting to wonder, what’s next? As we all get older, our traditions will change to incorporate new ones. And for that, I am so thankful. Enjoy your holiday traditions this year!