8650 Candlelight Lane Suite One, Lenexa, Kansas 66215
A Bridenstine-Speierman Christmas MARRIAGE OF TRADITIONS
I married into a family that doesn’t put up a Christmas tree until December 12. Yes, you read that right: December 12. I’m a guy who likes to put a tree up on the 3rd or 4th, and I’m serious about getting it decorated early. When I met my wife, Sherrie, I was surprised to learn her family waits until late December to get into the Christmas spirit. “That’s so late,” I thought. But they have a good reason. It’s a tradition that honors her grandmother’s birthday, which is, you guessed it, December 12. Finally, I had an epiphany. “Okay, if we’re going to put a tree up for your grandma on the 12th,” I prompted Sherrie, “my mother’s birthday is December 4th, so can we put up a tree to honor her?” It was a funny idea, but because I’m lucky to have a wife with a sense of humor and patience for my goofy ideas, it’s become a tradition at our house. So, every year, we have two trees: one for Grandma Speierman and one for my mom, Gwenda Bridenstine. When two families combine, you make new traditions. Sharing this story always makes me chuckle, and it’s a funny tradition that’s become an institution at the Bridenstine house. But there’s a lot to be said for family traditions, as old (or new) as they may be. Other than the two-tree tradition, our family sticks to pretty typical holiday customs. As a kid, I was the eldest of eight children, and Christmas was spent with the whole lot of us waking up at 4, then 5 then 6 a.m. We’d peek at the gifts under the tree until our parents finally got out of bed and we could open them. I grew up in California in a one-story ranch house. Christmas was different there because it was warm outside. If you got a bicycle, you could actually ride it on Christmas Day.
Now, we have a two-story house, and there’s a rule that the kids can’t come downstairs until 7 a.m., just in case Santa needs a little extra time getting up the chimney. When the presents are delivered and everyone’s awake, we’ll have hot chocolate, cookies and sometimes
wait until the afternoon to open gifts. In Kansas, it’s too cold to go outside and don’t even think about riding a new bike up and down the street. We’re happy to stay warm and cozy inside by the fireplace with our hot chocolate. This year, we won’t be in California or Kansas for Christmas. Instead, we’re heading to Hawaii. After a few years of being homebodies and enjoying our new home, we’re looking forward to a warm Christmas on the islands.
“When two families combine, you make new traditions.“
One important reminder before you leave on your own holiday vacation: Please maximize your 2017 dental benefits and don’t let them run out! If you have a filling, cleaning or crown that needs to be taken care of and you have unused insurance benefits, don’t let them pass with the New Year. Our schedule is already filling up, so call us right away before we’re booked for the rest of the year!
From our office to your home, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and a joyous holiday season!
–Dr. Bridensti ne
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