Saturday, November 28, 2009
Traditions- Do or Die
I've always envied the families that have well entrenched family traditions and I've rather lamented the lack of my own family traditions. I have fond memories of holidays- but the memories are few and far between, unfortunately. Since my mom reads my blog- here's my personal request for a Christmas gift... a journal of holiday memories from my childhood. I would love to know how we handled Thanksgiving when I was growing up. most of my memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas start later in my childhood. Creating traditions for our own family is very important to me. I feel like traditions help to root us into our families. Traditions provide a firm foundation for our children to build on when they begin their own families. Some traditions come about just by happenstance. Some by necessity. Some by design. For me, Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season. And I like for this long weekend to be chock full of traditions. First, we drive to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving day with my family. My mom, dad, brothers, my aunt and uncle, my cousin. Friday- prepare the house for the setting up of the Christmas Tree and decorations. That evening, take a ride over to Reynolds (John Deere retailer that sets up a HUGE light display every year- totally free for the community) and drive through the light display. Saturday- Thanksgiving with Jeff's family. His parents, his sister, her husband, their 2 kids. Sunday- Setting up the tree. We invite Christy and Brian over, I make dinner, we set up and decorate the tree. So far... this year... well... We went to Ohio for the day on Thursday and saw everyone and had a nice time. I made cranberry sauce, turtle pumpkin pie, and provided a variety of appetizers. Mom made turkey and roasted carrots and potatoes. She and Teagan made scalloped potatoes together. There were rolls and gravy. We celebrated my cousin Ryan's achievement- he recently passed the bar and is now, officially, an attorney. We caught up with my Aunt Martha and Uncle Jesse. We joked around with Daniel and Ted. Jeff and Brian talked comics. The kids ran around like crazy people. It was a good day. Friday, I busted my hump cleaning up my house. I made my living room livable. I rearranged furniture and cleaned out dusty corners and made space for the Christmas tree. I cleaned the kitchen and cleared out a boatload of junk that had taken over the kitchen floor. I made dinner and we loaded into the car to get ice cream and then go see the light display at Reynold's. So what do you do when grumpiness interferes with tradition? How do you handle a Scrooge or Grinch? Especially if it's an adult? With kids, even if I don't always make the best choice on dealing with them, at least I know what needs to happen and I have strategies on how to deal with them. But when it's an adult... Fake it? Force it? Exclude them? Fight to the death? Change plans in order to avoid conflict? What do you do? You, my readers. What do you do when there is an adult in your presence that is making it difficult for the entire group to enjoy what is going on? What do you do if you realize that YOU are the one making life difficult for the rest? How important are the traditions when they don't seem to be important to everyone involved?