Thursday, January 1, 2015

Holiday Traditions

(I think this is 1994 and Grandma bought everyone, except Graham, these annoying snoring bears.  I am glad this did not become a tradition)

I got back a few days ago from a week in Ohio with the family. When you say a week with the family it sounds like a long time, but it flew by.  Christmas is filled with traditions for all families and I love them all.  There are the traditions that have been around since before I can remember, like having Potato Broth on Christmas Eve.  Potato Broth was one of Grandma's five meals.  The ingredients are simple.  Meat, Potatoes, Beef Broth, and Onions.  Pepper and salt to taste.  When Grandpa took over the cooking the onions doubled.  I remember my Uncle Joe coming by on Christmas Eve to get his plastic container filled with the soup.  We would always have brown bread or marble rye with it and open butter got passed around the table all night.

Some traditions stay for awhile and then go away.  Like Fuzzy Navels.  There was a couple of years that was the drink of choice at Christmas.  Everybody got too sophisticated for that so now we have specially chosen wine or craft beer.  Secretly I miss the fuzzy navels.

Some traditions morph.  Graham and I always had a box carefully labeled of all of our Christmas ornaments that we made or we received as gifts.  We would each put our ornaments on the tree. Graham was devastated when one year his beloved "Dough Bear" that he had made from salt dough in preschool was missing.  We told him that it went to live on the dough bear farm and it kept him quiet for a few years until he realized what the term "farm" meant in our house.  ( For example, Dad's leisure suit went to the leisure suit farm)  One year we were given our boxes of ornaments.  Tradition morph.  Now my kids put up ornaments on our tree that are older than they are.

It is funny, I think the younger you are the less you need to consider something a tradition.  Owen, Liam and Caroline helped me make some Christmas candy the last couple of years.  Liam has a real knack for melting chocolate and dipping Buckeyes.  Owen is great at unwrapping rolos and setting them on pretzels.  At this point Caroline is really good at making us laugh and keeping us entertained. We have done this for three years and they both made the comment that they "always" do it and that it is a tradition.

My mom has an extensive collection of Byers Carolers.  So many I don't think she even puts them all out every year.  They are beautifully arranged around the house.  Carefully placed in groups to "sing" us carols.  Graham and I always make a beeline for the little boy on the snowball to turn him on his head.  It used to make mom mad and she would turn him upright, but I think she finally gave up.  A few years ago Will and I came across a George H. Bush doll in an antique store and as a joke gave it to my dad as a Christmas present.  Sometime in the evening dad snuck away and mixed him in with the Carolers.  Funny thing is he fit right in.  This year Hilary joking the Carolers.  The feelings toward Hilary in general are mixed, but the reaction to Hilary as a Caroler was unanimously good.  George is now placed with his hand in the Salvation Army pot.

I wish some traditions would go away, like Graham and Dad debating over politics ( hint, hint), but overall I love our traditions.  The new, the old and the ones we have yet to make.

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