Mark, Amy and I are far away from family (it is a 11 hour drive) but they like to keep the family traditions alive especially at the holidays. Just the other night they went into downtown Bath for open house night and looked at all the wonderful lights and decorated shop windows then out for pizza at The Cabin. When Amy was a little girl, her whole family would go look at the store windows in downtown Erie, PA and then for pizza at Luigi’s. This year they created a Maine version of that family tradition. Another yearly event is how Amy, Mark and I spend Christmas Day. Even when we lived in PA, Christmas Day was for the 3 of us. We stay in our pajamas all day (if guests are here they do dress to serve breakfast and then get back in the pj’s for the rest of the day) and watch old holiday movies. Christmas dinner is always special (lamb this year!) and they always make sure I get a little. The one big tradition that Amy learned when she was just a little tyke is giving back during the holiday season. Whether it is sponsoring a family in need with gifts for Christmas morning (something her family back in PA still does every year), dropping toys in Santa’s bag in Bath or, this year, baking cookies to bag up and distribute at a local food pantry, it brings them such joy to give to others. Now I just need to think of another way to give back besides barking a Merry Christmas at everyone who walks by the house!