Don't Mess With Tradition

It’s well documented  that small children strive best on structure and routine.  In fact, the entire holiday season, starting with Halloween, tends to make kids go bonkers because all of the daily routines have gone out the window.  Yet, in a way, the  holidays can bring their own kind of structure.

Our family, like many others, has holiday traditions that we faithfully adhere to year after year.  In our family, we always put up the tree after the last birthday on the 12th.  We always put up the tree in the same manner and always with eggnog and seasonal music.  We always go to see The Nutcracker. We always make the same dishes for dinner and always share it with the same family.  We always make cookies for Santa (and other friends), we always remember to put out carrots for the reindeer, we always get a “surprise” gift of…well, I think you get the picture. 

This year, things have been, well…different. It has seemed more chaotic and less joyful.  For various reasons, I just haven’t felt the Christmas Spirit this year.  I’ve let things slide that didn’t really need to be done.  To my relief, nobody really seemed to notice.  My reasoning was that the girls are both teenagers now and all those little things really didn’t matter.  That was until Christmas Eve.

Our Little Mimi had a really rough time of it.  We were all getting ready to enjoy a movie together…but she had other plans.  She was ready to climb into bed  at eight o’clock just has she had done as a little tike.  All of our Christmas cookies were either stale or had been given away…and worse yet, we were out of carrots.  The list of complaints went on…KT had the nerve to want to use her brand new Christmas stocking instead of the ones that we have always used.  There were too many presents under the  tree…she sure hoped that we remembered that “Santa” always brought at least two thirds of our gifts.  Then she tearfully asked if I even remembered to get new underwear.  She wailed in sorrow when she saw the answer in my stricken face.  (Who knew that a brand new package of undies would be so important?)

This made me think back to when Shaun and I were first married and living in our own apartment.  I was thrilled beyond belief to find two blue bowls filled with plastic grass, jelly beans and big chocolate bunnies sitting right outside our door.  The Easter Bunny had managed to find me! 

Apparently, it doesn’t matter if your babies are big teenagers (or grown up married women) the comfort that comes with holiday traditions is an important one. Never again will I mess with them…even if I have to make a trip in the middle of the night to do so…

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0 Responses to Don't Mess With Tradition

  1. Jay says:

    We stuck to a few traditions until my sister and I were in college. Then we finally let a few of of them go. Now, we really don’t follow too many at all.

  2. Kell says:

    In response to Jay’s message, I’ve always hated that those traditions I had as a kid are gone. I understand Mimi, I understand!

    Al and I have made some of our own, but I seem to be the only one who really wants those traditions. When I stopped trying to do all those things, no one noticed and Christmas happened anyway. Bummer

  3. fiwa says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog!
    I remember the first year my mom didn’t put up a Christmas tree. I was 30 and I cried. And we weren’t even going to be celebrating Christmas day at her house! That said, I hope you can find a balance of keeping it do a dull roar for yourself, but pleasing your kids too.

    Happy holidays!

  4. Newt says:

    I love the snowing blog. It’s fantastic. Happy holidays to you and yours.

  5. Pamela says:

    they seem like good traditions…
    some things are worth keeping.

    love your snow. (ps. I heard it snowed on the west side. we had snow off and on all day yesterday but it only blew around)

  6. Marla says:

    I hear you. We have always let the girls open one gift on Christmas Eve and then the rest, Christmas morning. Last year, because hubby had to be at work at 7 am Christmas morning we offered to let the girls open everything Christmas Eve and they wouldn’t do it. I never dreamed they would turn down that offer but they did lol.

  7. renate1945 says:

    I’m all for traditions and so are the now-grown kids with kids of their own. We always have potato salad and wieners for Christmas Eve dinner before passing our presents. This year I mentioned to my niece that I might not make the potato salad. You would think the earth had come to an end judging by her reaction. Needless to say, we did have potato salad and all was well.

  8. Cheryl says:

    I agree…don’t mess with tradition. I still wrote the letter from Santa, and everything else I usually do. I could so do without the tree, but that will probably never happen. Traditions are a way of binding the family together. Your girls are so sweet to want everything to stay the same.

  9. Cazzie says:

    I had to re read this post 3 times, not because you could not write a good entry,but because my kids are STILL in that silly mood they get in at Christmas and they are hot and they want to go for a swim at their grandma’s..yet, I wanted to catch up with 3 blogs off of my blog roll at least 🙂
    Yes, maybe for your little one, who is not so little any more, things have changed…we grow up, and things change..but, tradition is nice to hold on to, as long as you can.
    I only just got tradition back in my Christmas 3 years ago. I only just began sharing Christmas again with my family, my Dad’s Brother’s Family to be exact.
    My dad re married 10 years ago and I was always close to him. When he remarried his new wifer said to me, ” You will never see your dad again, I am taking him away” And so she did. It has been hard, since I have had 4 kids and well, he has missed out on 3 of them. I miss him.
    Now, with having the family to share with like I am my Uncle’s daughter now, it is great.
    I have adopted new tradition. I cook something and we travel 50 minutes up Bush (outback). We get there and we are greeted by so many people and we all give each other little gifts. Not expensive, and some are home made giftrs, but they MEAN something.
    Without going on further more, I understand your daughter..and yet I understand you too…. trying to make a change, even a little one is sometimes good, sometimes bad…but change is inevitable…and so, I grasp onto the special things…I hope ypur daughter can do the same..and..I just KNOW that when you buy the new underwear next year, she will will have to put a special note on it or something just for her to keep 🙂

  10. Carol says:

    I definitely relate! But the adjustment is hard on MY part! There were no jammie feet sneaking into the livingroom at daybreak this year; instead, we eventually had to wake the “kids” UP to ravage their stockings!

    Sigh. They really DO grow up that fast!


  11. Peggy says:

    You could have gotten away with it, if your face hadn’t given the game away. One of you could have sneaked out to some 24 hour place and get some new Christmas knickers.

    Our kids (no matter how old they get) get new jammies that magically appear on their bed while they are in having a bath on Christmas Eve.

  12. photowannabe says:

    Amen…you touched a spot within me that I didn’t know would be tender.
    Tradition is important and your kids and grandkids hang on to them. Its security and love all wrapped up in packages of new underwear and carrots for the reindeer.
    I remember when I got older being so afraid that Santa hadn’t filled my Stocking or that the Easter Bunny hadn’t left a basket of candy. i would be almost breathless daring to look to see if the tradition continued. It did and has even to this day. I’m a believer…

  13. Linda says:

    OH, That is SO TRUE! My kids at home are teens and they both, along with the one NOT at home, still expect the traditions. I think that speaks well of your family though. Traditions and rituals are what keep us grounded within our community, but yet unique within each of our families with our own particular twists. Santa brings you underwear, he brings us nail clippers and toothbrushes!

  14. Nicole says:

    We have many traditions in our family too. Ornament and Pj’s on Christmas eve. My kids would be crushed if I cut that out and I involved my step-kids as soon as we spent our first Christmas together. It has been heaven ever since. The kids absolutely love it. I think the underwear thing is probably the same thing. It’s a tradition. Something to be expected.

    I wouldn’t let it get you down. We had plenty of mishaps this year and I’m sure we will have more in years to come. Christmas is so for the kids, so I stop trying to perfect everything and just make it what it is. And teach them more about the reason for the season. It makes a huge difference.

    Oh, and I LOVED your blog!

  15. Jenny says:

    Traditions are good! Happy New Year! ~Jennifer

  16. I love all our family Christmas traditions. They are so important. But time does have a way of moving a bit too fast some years and I don’t always get everything done!

  17. Wendy says:

    For Mimi it was underwear. For me with my mother, the LifeSaver Sweet Storybooks.

  18. Coffespaz says:

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Traditions are wonderful aren’t they? It is so very hard to establish them sometimes, so it is so very important to hang on to them as long as you can.

  19. Dorky Dad says:

    Oh yeah. Do NOT mess with tradition, not where kids are concerned. Or people like me, for that matter.

  20. Pingback: Tales of the Easter Bunny « A Slice of Life

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