Now that the holiday season is upon us, I love to start thinking about all the traditions my family shares at this time of the year! I’d like to share one tradition I share with my mom. It makes me smile just thinking about it as I type this!
You may guess that it involves digging a time-tested recipe out of an old recipe box, putting on our matching aprons, cooking all day together in the kitchen, and then proudly delivering the bounty to a table full of family and friends. Maybe you think it involves jointly laboring over the design and construction of a soon-to-be family heirloom quilt….cutting the squares, painstakingly stitching them together, quilting the top…..only to put it in a gift box and finish it off by wrapping it in paper so beautiful you don’t want to tear it open on Christmas morning. Or, maybe, going on an elaborate “girls” holiday shopping trip to a city with glistening Christmas decorations, and choirs singing on every street corner….
Sounds like a Hallmark card, doesn’t it?
Well, if you know me, and you know my mom, you would know that is so far from the way we do things, that Marth Stewart would be appalled! Anything that looks like a Norman Rockwell painting is not part of the gig for us! Granted, those scenes from a Rockwell painting are so inviting…and, frankly, I wish life was as simple and “slow” as it was in that era, but we live in a faster time, and I find myself screeching in and sliding sideways into Christmas morning as if I was driving a poorly tuned racecar. Life is so, so busy!!
So….years ago, a different type of tradition was borne in the chaos of the holidays, and it has become as sacred as unpacking the “well-loved” nativity scene from the dusty box in the basement every season!
Each year, as so many families do on Christmas morning, we begin the glorious exchanging of gifts! We usually take turns watching the other person open their bags and boxes, so we can give each treasure the “oooo” and “ahhhh” it truly deserves! The kids seem to blast through their loot faster than the adults…(no surprises here!) As the stash of gifts under the tree dwindle, there are only a couple of items left to disperse. Knowing what is eventually coming, my mom and I save our gifts until near the end.
You see, we have this funny tradition of putting whatever “find” we bought at some store, or from some catalog, (or let’s be honest…from Amazon!), in a certain gift bag and/or box that has been used and re-used since probably the birth of Jesus himself! Although the gift inside is almost always well thought out, has a real meaning or practical purpose, it is not about the object at all! What it is about, is the good laugh we get as we remember that silly old bag with the picture of a cranberry-colored ornament, or the cardboard gift box with the picture on the front of a man, a boy, and a horse dragging their freshly cut Christmas tree from the forest. Whatever item will be revealed once the tissue paper comes out, or the lid is lifted from the box, is only the “cherry” on top of what has already been a meaningful moment, no matter how silly.
Traditions come in many forms, some with layers of pomp and circumstance, some with specific rituals, and some are quiet and small. But the ones I anticipate most, are beautiful in their simplicity, and it truly wouldn’t be a holiday without them! This year, I hope I am “re-gifted” the wrinkly bag with the sparkly Christmas tree on it, mom…it’s my “turn” to have it!!
Want to make your own? Click here to visit my DIY tutorial!
What unique, silly, or FUN holiday traditions does your family share? I’d love to know!!