Thursday, December 23, 2010


Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends. ~Margaret Thatcher

#1 and I were talking about traditions recently. In her married life and with a baby on the way, they are forming their own traditions. They are combining some traditions from both of their childhoods and forming new ones along the way.

Last year when we were still scarred from losing my mom and uncle, everything HAD to be done the way Mom did it. I was never the baker and here I was trying to make all her foods without her recipes. I was making my own gift tags, making my own cards, making a lot of the gifts and making my own wreathes. Everyone was trying to deal with their own grief and different traditions held different meanings for everyone. I tried anticipating it all and drove myself ( and possibly others) nuts while trying to do so. I came to realize traditions are great but they are nothing without the family. And with that fear of trying to perfectly replicate the Christmas’ past removed,  I was free. The traditions are still there but I can do things my way and if need be cheat along the way.

So this year went easier…I bought wreathes for home and the cemeteries, I had gift tags left over from last year, this year’s cards were easily printed out, and I had a year of baking mistakes under my belt. If all the cookies burnt then there was always the bakery. I made some gifts.  If I had something in mind but the pattern was driving me crazy, I sat it aside and didn’t force myself to work on it. If the project gets done it can be put away for another time or even another person.

So, the decorations are all up. I have all the shopping done. A few gifts are still in shipping but will arrive before Christmas but if they don’t they are not any of the important ones. I have everything else wrapped. The breads are made. Almost all the cookies are made. The meats have been taken out.

And now instead of spinning around like a mad woman, today I am watching Christmas movies and finishing off a pair of fingerless mitts for a friend. If time allows I would like to make her a pair of slipper socks, if they don’t get done on time, her birthday is in February!

The kids came home early from school and the man has tomorrow off so instead of trying to do it all I can pawn off various jobs on them! 

So the traditions are still there but not at the expense of family or my sanity.  Everything is right on track but if it goes a stray it could become a new tradition.  And to make sure I don't forget my lessons and worry to much about the traditions and not enough about the family is the newly knit Shelf Elf.

So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with friends and family.  Keep the traditions close but the friends and family closer.

Christmas is not in tinsel and lights and outward show.

The secret lies in an inner glow.
It's lighting a fire inside the heart.
Good will and joy a vital part.
It's higher thought and a greater plan.
It's glorious dream in the soul of man.
~ Wilfred A. Peterson


Linda said...

I have always thought traditions were the heart and soul of the family. I grew up with many, especially Christmas traditions. But you are right. You hold on to what you can and make new ones that may be carried through.
A very blessed Merry Christmas and the best of New Year's to come to you and all your family, Judy.

cyndy said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Sandie Knapp said...

Happy Holidays to you too Judy. Your little elf is totally adorable. :)