The holidays are upon us. Were you aware of that?
I was actually shocked when I showed up to work this past Monday and realized it was the week of Thanksgiving. Oh my!
I don't usually stress over having a perfectly set table or the perfect tree or whatever it is people stress over. Actually, it's a bit of a relief in that I don't have to think about what's for dinner. That's pretty much standard.
Maybe some folks stress because they don't usually cook their own dinner.
I'm not sure.
There's a part of me that thinks we (as a society) are no longer used to functioning as a family so stress about doing it "right."
Our families are so scattered, it has become abnormal to be together.
That thought is sad to me. It came to my realization as I was looking online for a very old Christmas issue of a magazine and came across books sharing how certain folks (nationalities) celebrate, how to entertain your guests for the holidays, how to decorate to impress, and romantic Christmas tales. It made me question, do we really expect a storybook Christmas?
I'm not sure what your family's like,
but I do know that our family is nothing like those stories.
It actually might be a funny skit if we tried to act one out.
That doesn't mean our time together doesn't hold
valuable memories and traditions.
Those memories and traditions just look a little different
than those of other families - as they should.
One of the fondest (silliest) was the year Papa (my dad) and niece 'C' had a little bit of a whipped cream war.
If you look closely, you'll see he has the big bowl of whipped cream.
It stayed in the washable rooms and didn't get too out of hand and actually began with putting "extra" whipped cream on each other's pie.
It continued most of the day.
* A tradition of ours~ desert first!
We eat desert about 11:30-12:00 then dinner close to 2 o:clock. We were tired of having pies untouched after the big meal. When we had my dear friends who are now gone share that his mom did that, we immediately latched on and have had desert first ever since.
* For Thanksgiving (see way back here.)
The kids would make treats for the birds. My daughter especially enjoyed this. My son preferred to eat the peanut-butter himself. I still love this picture.
* A Fond Christmas Memory
When I was a youngster (back when dust was new,) and we went to my maternal grandparents' house for Christmas, I would always admire the tinsel.
I believe it was actually my great-grandmother's.
It was that old, real metal kind that was just shy of 1/8" wide.
Nana would hang each strand individually and after Christmas, she would remove each strand and place it back in the box.
I loved that tinsel and couldn't believe she hung it up 1 strand at a time!
Hanging the tinsel was always a test of patience as a kid.
My mom has that tinsel now.
She doesn't use it every year, but I notice when she does.
* A Tradition for the Kids
When my munchkins were little, things were pretty tight financially.
I was a single mom for most of their youth. One thing we did was at some point in December we would have a slumber party. After dinner, we would clear the living-room and bring all kinds of blankets and pillows down and make a big bed. They would pick a Christmas movie to watch and we would have hot chocky and watch a movie. And here's the really cool part - on a school night. Whoa! It wasn't difficult or expensive, but it was special.
The thing is ~ non of these things that are special to me are in books or movies. They are just the things that work in our family. We have a very casual family, and we are comfortable being around one another so other than crowded rooms it's just nice to catch up and visit.
Here's wishing each of you a special holiday season.