Tuesday, December 30, 2008

WE Had/Are Having CHRISTMAS!

I love traditions--don't you? There is usually a really good reason why you started doing something the same way each time, and a really good reason to continue doing it that way. We had "traditions" while our kids were growing up. Some have been discontinued because they are no longer needed/applicable to the situation, and some have remained because we like them[!] or they are easily adjustable to our needs.
"Driving around Christmas Eve to see the Christmas lights": This was supposed to get the kids 'sleepy' so that they would go to bed more easily so Santa [and his elves] could come. It worked pretty well, most of the time; but it could not be carried too far, as a tradition, after the kids were grown because they needed to absorb their spouses traditions and establish their own.
"Family coming to OUR house for Christmas": Ron and I were the youngest 'kids' in our respective families, and we tried several years to 'go to Grandma's' for Christmas, which meant 2 different houses in 2 different locations! The last year we did it, we lost small little parts to several toys, had so much packed into the car--luggage,presents, baby 'paraphernalia', kids and us--that we felt 'squished' together for two whole hours and were cranky with each other when we finally got to our destination! Ron and I looked at each other and said "This is no way to spend Christmas!!" So, we let everyone know that we were going to spend the next Christmas at home! and if you want to see us and have Christmas together, you are welcome to come to our house on Christmas day! This worked very well for us for many years. But once the grandparents were gone or had moved away, and our kids began to marry and have their own families...we couldn't all 'fit' into our little house! For several years, we all[at least those who were still in Missouri] went to Karen's and Chris's house. When they moved out of state, Kirk and Stacy graciously invited us there. Over the years some have had to spend their Christmas in various other parts of the world and we miss them, greatly! [Keith and family have not been able to come for years!] And, in the past few years we have had to change the day from Christmas Day, too. After all, new traditions have to be started, and other families have traditions to work around,too! We can be adaptable!!
"Our Kind of Christmas Dinner": This tradition was born out of frustration,too. I realized that I was NOT getting to enjoy watching my kids enjoy their presents [after the big 'opening'!] because I spent most of Christmas Day in the kitchen either FIXING dinner or CLEANING UP after dinner! My Mom and I discussed it and decided to pray about a solution. This is what we came up with: Everything needed to be fixed ahead. It should be 'different' enough to make it seem 'special',and served on 'throw away' plates, etc.
We have a VARIETY of various things: meats, cheeses, breads, fresh veggies, pickles olives, and other condiments, chips and dips, crackers. And [of course!] desserts: pies, cakes, cookies, and candies. It is mostly just left out [some things may be returned to the refrigerator] for people to sample and munch on all day. Now that the kids are grown, with kids and grandkids of their own they are insistent on keeping this tradition. Everyone signs up to bring something on the list, and usually throws in something extra,too, that they want us all to try.

This year we got together on the Sunday after Christmas. Three of the kids and families were able to be there: Kevin and Cory, Kristopher, and Kirk and Stacy. We missed: Keith and Sharon, Karl, and Karen and Chris. We will go see Karl this coming Saturday, and take Rob[his son] and Val [Rob's mom] and Dillon [Kevin's oldest son] along. We have talked to Keith and family by phone and Karen and family, too.
How is it that old saying goes? The more things change, the more they remain the same. Or is it: the more things remain the same the more they change? Either way, it shows that we all must be able and willing to ADAPT when we need to!
Here's wishing all of you a Happy New Year! May you establish some NEW traditions this year---or adapt some OLD ones!!!


Anonymous said...

I think Jacob has got to be the most traditional kid I've ever been around. He has to do things "just so" or it doesn't feel the same to him. I think he may have a little of my OCD. :O) I have to admitt..It's one of the things I love the most about him!

Kristopher said...

We still went out on Christmas Eve to look at the Kristopher lights... even tho it was just you and me and Dad... and even tho it was while we were waiting for everyone else to show up for Christmas Eve service...