Sunday, November 26, 2017

Creating Memories

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.


  1. Wonderful post, Lady Locust. I love the photos and your stories. The slumber party sounds like so much fun.

  2. A lovely post, Lady Locust. It's so much better to create our own traditions that work for us than trying to do what everyone else does.
    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your family.

  3. I guess what I miss the most is Christmas Eve. I had two sets of grandparents and two sets of aunts and uncles that lived within a mile of us. We'd start by visiting my dad's folks. Often, there was an out-of-town aunt and cousin visiting there, We'd gather around their tree and accept our gifts. Then, we'd do the same at my mom's parents, followed by the two aunts and uncles. They would be doing the same, so once in a while, we'd catch somebody gone and have to go back later. And of course, they'd come to our house and check out our tree and receive the gifts that we had for them. And, of course, there was food and drink (non-alcoholic) at every home. Christmas day we spent at home, though sometimes one or both sets of grandparents would join us for dinner (lunch, they call it now). I hope your holidays continue to be pleasant and blessed.

  4. I love the idea of having dessert first! And the slumber party (on a school night!) is/was inspired. Both are things that will be treasured memories for your family and I'm sure will be passed on to the next generation too.

  5. Dessert first! That's my kind of tradition! My grandmother used to tell of when she was a little girl and her parents would have a friend for dinner who was a physician. That was in the day when physicians still made house calls at all hours of night or day, so whenever he would come for dinner he would ask to eat his dessert first - so he wouldn't miss it if he had to go out on a call!

    Great post. It's the traditions and memories that truly make the holidays special.