Tuesday, November 23, 2010
We don't have traditions. Or do we?
Blog Cruise time again, only this time, I'm having to write up the post for the TOS Blog too. You'd think that would mean I'd write my post EARLY in the process, not wait until the very, very last minute.
The question this week has to do with holiday traditions. That's a tough one for me, as we just don't seem to have any. I mean, we had all kinds of ideas as to traditions we WANTED to have. It's just that nothing ever seems to be implemented.
One tradition we had decided was going to happen pretty early on was that we were going to do a fairly Polish Christmas Even. That would specifically include making peirogies from scratch. We did that before we had kids. And this, our 14th Christmas with children, will mark the second time we've done it with kids. Not much of a tradition, eh?
That's how most of our stuff feels on the surface. Great intentions, lousy follow-through.
Of course, the fact that in those fourteen years of Christmases, I've been recovering from a c-section twice (two November babies), and I've been 6-7 months pregnant twice... well... it does mess with things a bit.
So... why am I posting? Because we DO have holiday traditions. Just not all the traditions I'd like.
Let's talk birthdays. For birthdays, we typically end up celebrating as a family on the Sunday before. The birthday child gets to plan the menu for the day (within reason). Thomas always gets the candy cane ice cream from the Schwan's man. Connor always has pie. We have a couple of gift bags that get used for the presents from Mom & Dad, and usually at least one of them is a "magic gift bag." Meaning, I will have unwrapped present sitting next to me, and as the gift bag gets handed back to me after being opened, I'll slip another present into it, and a non-birthday child will slip the bag back in among the unopened presents. The birthday child pretends not to notice.
What started as an attempt to NOT wrap presents in plastic grocery bags when we really couldn't spring for wrapping paper is now something my kids expect.
For Thanksgiving, we have a turkey dinner and hang out as a family. What else we have with that turkey might vary considerably. This year, I've scored a LOT of cheap Stove-Top Stuffing (I paid four cents a box for what I bought last night), so if nothing else, we will eat turkey and Stove-Top. Richard proclaimed last night that this was going to be "the best Thanksgiving ever!"
For Christmas, we typically have Christmas with my parents in early December. We do Christmas as just our family on Christmas Eve, sometime Christmas Day. And Dale's mom usually visits around New Year's. So, the kids "do" Christmas three times. We make sure to watch our Christmas movie collection -- It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, The Grinch, The Little Drummer Boy, etc. We get Christmas music randomized on the iPod and pump that through our stereo.
And we read. We read traditional Christmas tales (Gift of the Magi, Christmas Carol). We read Christmas picture books. We read modern classics (The Best Christmas Pageant Ever). And we read about the birth of Christ in the Bible. Multiple times.
The kids can pretty much count on a gift from us that is a book. Quite often, a school book. They can count on new jeans (desperately needed this year!) The boys can count on gifts that will help them in scouts. There is usually something that is just fun too.
Our traditions reflect us pretty well. Thrifty, eclectic, go-with-the-flow...
What about you? What traditions do you have at this time of year?