Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Christmas Lanterns

A couple of months before Christmas, I had read somewhere that if you have had a major life change in the past year (death, divorce, move, etc.) that you should create a new tradition for the holidays. Something to look forward to in the (in our case) absence of a loved one.

Knowing how hard it was going to be on everyone to not have Verd at our Christmas this year, I thought "We have to do something new.". As I pondered what new tradition we could start, the only thing that kept coming to mind were the Chinese lanterns from "Tangled".

To be honest, I didn't even know if they were real or not. I mean, I saw them on a cartoon, for Pete's sake! So, one night I turned to Google and sure enough, there they were. With an explanation of how they work (hot air balloon theory).

I wasn't sure how the rest of the family would feel about it, or if anyone had something else planned, so I checked with them and got a resounding "YES!!"! And the ordering began.

After a quick "trial run" after our Christmas dinner, we determined that there was no way in God's green earth (or, brownish green without a hint of snow anywhere winter where are you no I didn't have a white Christmas thankyouverymuch) that we were going to be able to light them off all at once, like I had envisioned and dreamed up to perfection in my mind.

We had 52 lanterns. With about 1/2 of those "belonging" to the 1o and under crowd. We learned that the flame gets rather large and "adultish" and so we hatched "Plan B"...we adults/big cousins would help the littler kids send theirs off then get right to work on ours.

And it went off without a hitch. Soon, lantern after lantern after beautiful lantern were floating off into the darkness.

Seriously a beautiful and touching moment, knowing we were lighting them off in memory of such a wonderful man, who we all miss so much.

What follows are some of my favorite the memories we made, and the tradition we have started!

Probably my favorite photo...ever! Look at those eyes...

And, my SIL...the last to release her lantern...

We miss you, Verd. You may not be with us in body, but you are with us in spirit...and you will never be forgotten!


  1. You made me cry....what a beautiful tradition. I might just have to incorporate that one in memory of my dad, who we lost suddenly in Nov 2010....

  2. Amazing! Brought tears to my eyes!

  3. What a wonderful tribute and it had to be just beautiful! I'm with the others....brought tears to my eyes

  4. I reading your posts in reverse order. What a beautiful tradition. Thank you for the lovely pictures as well. Happy Holidays!

  5. This was absolutely beautiful! *tears* what a joyful, sweet way to honor someone who is dearly missed. The pictures are deep with the meaning of it all! J.

  6. That's beautiful, what a lovely thing to do and such a great tradition to start.
    Tangled is my favourite Disney and here is another reason to love it.
    Hope you have a good New Year

  7. So so sweet. I love that you thought of this!

  8. Umm...I'm teary now! That is simply beautiful! What an amazing idea/celebration. :)

  9. this is an amazing idea to honor those we miss.I love your new family tradition! thanks for!

  10. What a fantastic way to remember a loved one and to create some special memories.

    Love, love, love this idea

  11. wow, I never ever saw a Chinese lantern before. How really cool. I'll have to watch Tangled some snowed in evening.. If I ever get any snow!

  12. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! What a beautiful scene and what great memories.


  13. One of my best friends died September 24th, and my friends and I gathered together the following weekend with some lanterns in hand. We wrote notes to her on them, and then sent them up to the sky. It was beautiful, and I imagine we will do this every time we get together (there are 3 of us, all in different states). It's a great tradition!


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