Brian Bushweller, State Senator

17th District of Delaware

December, 2017

My Favorite Season of the Year

In 2010 and 2015, I used the same title as above for my December Legislative Update.  I thought I would use it again this year because, well … Christmas is my favorite season of the year.

            There’s something special about the precious and memorable family traditions and gatherings at Christmastime and how entire communities come together to share in the spirit of the day.  There’s something special, too, in the fact that Delawareans of various religions celebrate holidays at this time of year, in addition to Christmas, with Jews observing Hanukkah and Muslims their new year.  Also, many people participate in the celebration of African American culture, Kwaanza.  This adds up to a season of wonder and warmth, bringing out the best in all of us.

One of my favorite memories of Christmas is midnight mass.  I grew up in a Catholic family and, like many others, our parish had a special Christmas mass that started at midnight.  When I was very young, I had to go to bed at the regular time on Christmas Eve but my mother would wake me up at 11:30 PM.  We would then walk to church – it was four houses down the street.  I remember having to take two to three steps for each step my father took.  It was worth the effort, though, because after mass I got to take a peek at the Christmas tree and go back to bed dreaming about what surprises might lie underneath.

Fast forward one generation.  My wife and I established our own Christmas traditions for our own family of momma, papa and our five children.  Our Christmas morning tradition is best described by the rules we adopted.  Rule one prohibited the children from going near the tree (that means the presents!) until both parents had time to freshen up.  Rule two added to that delay by giving mom and pop additional time to brew their morning coffee.  Neither one of these rules actually took very much time but to the kids it seemed like an eternity.

After these interminable delays I would take my place by the tree and begin handing out presents.  Rule three required all children to watch all the other children open their presents, one by one.  More delay.

One year, for reasons I do not recall, my wife and I decided we would suspend rule three and simply hand out the presents as fast as the kids could open them. Needless to say, this resulted in chaos.  The following year, rule three was back in effect.

Now, our children have established their own traditions and my wife and I enjoy being part of their celebrations.  We also observe or participate in the celebrations of many others here in central Kent County including special church services, holiday caroling and enjoying the lights and sounds of the season.

I will get back to legislative matters in next month’s Update but, for now, whatever your family traditions might be, my wife and I wish you a warm and wonderful holiday season!​