Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Traditions – Love ‘Em Or Leave ‘Em?

It’s raining at the back fence today. No snow for the week before Christmas. Here in West Michigan, we sorta expect the white stuff for the holidays. (For the entire winter, actually.) So I wonder what kind of holiday spirit we will have if our Christmas isn’t traditionally “white”. And will it really matter?

To be truthful, I never had a snowy Christmas until I married and moved North. Coming from the Texas Hill Country, snow just wasn’t what happened there in winter. There are areas of Texas where snow does fall in winter, but I hadn’t experienced any of it, so it wasn’t a tradition for me. But it is for our kids and grandkids, so I keep looking out the window every day, hoping to see the white stuff fluttering out of the sky to make young eyes light up. I still miss warm weather.

Traditions – some you love and some you don’t.

Do you have holiday traditions that you observe every Christmas? This year, circumstances dictated that we suspend some of ours and I’m wondering if it will really change anything. It will be interesting to find out.

For the first time, we will observe our holiday on New Year’s Day since some family members will be out of the state on Christmas Day.

For the first time, our tree has only lights, no ornaments. It’s doubtful if I will get the inside decorations up in time for the family gathering. But it will be less work to put everything away, right?

For the first time, I’m not cooking a turkey with all the trimmings. Daughter #1 will do the honors and bring it over on Christmas Day. At our all-family New Year’s Day gathering, everyone will bring something. A great idea. What’s not to like?

For the first time, the angel isn’t on top of the tree because the tree is too small for it. This one, I really miss.

For the first time, I’ve let others do most of my gift shopping for me. Can’t say I miss the crowds or the stress, so maybe this one is a good one, also. After all, every one will get the gift they like. No exchanges needed. But, somehow, it’s not the same. Maybe next year, I’ll do a little each month.

For the first time, I haven’t knitted a baby afghan for the newest addition to our family. (Hand surgery will correct that soon, I hope) I hope to keep knitting as long as the fingers hold out.

For the first time, I haven’t sent Christmas cards. I’m very sad about this. Next year, I’ll start on them in October.

For the first time, the house doesn’t have that holiday baking aroma drifting through it. I miss this a lot. Maybe I’ll do some baking once a month in 2012.

Will all these changes affect the way we celebrate? I hope not. In fact, I’ve been thinking maybe it’s time to adopt some new family traditions. If not this year, maybe next year. So I’ll approach the family and get their input. We’re a creative bunch, so maybe a Christmas with only homemade gifts would be a fun thing to do. I haven’t finished my WHERE I’M FROM notebooks, so I will work on them for next year. Planning ahead would be a first for me. That would be a new tradition, for sure.

I’m not sure how this Christmas will pan out, but I know we’ll have a wonderful time, with or without our usual traditions. As our family grows, our traditions will change. Like it or not, that’s a fact of life we can’t control. So maybe the answer is attitude. It won’t matter whether or not we do the same thing every year if we keep our ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.

I wish all y’all a Wonderful Holiday Season, wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate. I won’t be blogging next Thursday, so you’ll have two weeks to comment here about your own thoughts on traditions. I hope you’ll share them.

Hope I’ll see y’all here at my back fence next year. I’ll have more news and blogs to share, so stop by and see what’ll be happening here in 2012.



  1. Great idea, Loralee. Starting new traditions, sort of like blazing a new trail, and I'm all for that. This year as I put up the artifical tree, my knees complained louder than usual the farther down I went. And with these eyes the holes, numbers and branches all looked the same. When I was finished I found I had two left over. LOL! I'm seriously considering ditching the tree idea and sticking with decorating only the mantel.
    Fingers are crossed we have snow! And wishing you a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

  2. Teresa, I hear you about the knees and eyes! Did you ever find a spot for the two leftover branches? I love mantle decorations, too. Right now, our mantel is full of family photos. Maybe I'll add some bows to the frames for a festive look. Have a wonderful Christmas, whatever you choose to decorate!

  3. Loralee, the best part of any holiday is though traditions come and go and some take a vacation for a bit, it's all good in the end. We have started some new ones the last few years as the kids have grown, held on to some old ones and packed a few away.

    This year I'll be working Christmas day. Not excited about that, but am used to it since I've worked at a hospital off and on for years. I'm also sad that my daughter will be gone for the holidays. But such is the way it goes as your kids grow.

    Anyway, here's to old, new and future traditions!

    Merry Christmas Loralee and Happy New Year!!!

  4. Loralee: Love that everyone gathers at the back fence. Wonderful blog and wonderful attitude in writing it. That same adaptability will ensure you and yours have a Merry Christmas, no matter when you celebrate it. I hope your hand surgery goes well. Thinking ouf you and yours.

  5. Christine, good for you. You are making someone's Christmas better by working at the hospital that day.
    It's definitely a change when our kids grow up. We have one son who won't be with us due to a new job in Texas. But traditions or not, we'll have a good time together.
    Cheers and Christmas wishes to you and yours!

  6. Hey, Donnell. Lovely to have you here. I hope you'll visit often. Thanks for the Christmas wishes. I forgot to mention one of our family's traditions that I still haven't gotten used to is eating Oyster Stew for breakfast on Christmas Day. Gaaack! Just can't do it! But I've always made it for my hubby, since that tradition is from his family. This year we'll be at our son's for breakfast and our daughter-in-law will make it. I'll settle for cinnamon rolls. Love the sweets! LOL. Merry Christmas!

  7. My husband loves the Texas hill country--he was raised near Corpus Christi.

    There've been a lot of firsts here on things I haven't done this year, too. I can't say I like that. It's sad. But I wouldn't mind the not cooking part. I HATE cooking, though I do it twice a year--Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!


    Vicki Hinze

  8. Hi Vicki! Thanks so much for stopping by my back fence and leaving a comment. I love Corpus Christi and lived in nearby Aransas Pass when I was a kid. Love the Texas Gulf Coast, as well as the Hill Country.
    Have a wonderful Christmas, even if you have to cook. I'm sure everything will be yummy!

  9. Can't say I blame you on the oyster stew for breakfast. Think I'd go with the cinnamon rolls, too! Our traditions have changed through the years as our kids grew up, and now I'll just be happy if I can just have them here for one meal sometime over the holiday weekend and maybe a little time to visit. You know the old saying, your son's your son till he takes a wife, you daughter's your daughter for the rest of her life. Couldn't be truer here. Emily and her hubby will be here but Chris and his significant other (also Emily) will make an appearance sometime after they visit her family. But that's okay. Have learned to share. Enjoy your Christmas and it's new traditions. It's that we're with the people we love that's most important. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  10. Great post, Loralee. As times change and we (our bodies) change, it's good to be open to new traditions. I used to always cook Christmas dinner. Now it's my son, my brother-in-law (who's younger), or my nephew and niece who do those honors and host the gathering. Those who aren't hosting usually bring one dish to pass, but it's certainly nice to sit back and enjoy the festivities.

  11. Great post, Loralee, and best wishes on that hand surgery.

    Like many who have commented, our traditions change as we get older, our children leave the nest, and start making their own traditions. For years, my sister and I would get together at Mom's and make 9 million cookies. (Well, it seemed like 9 million.) Christmas cookies were such a tradition that after we moved too far away to make them with Mom & Sis, I would stay up late on Christmas Eve making cookies--until I realized how stressed I was getting over something like cookies. Now, if I make them, okay; if I don't, okay, too. Family is all that's really important. We've already had a family celebration with both children, their significant others, and our grandchildren. And no cookies. It was wonderful. All the best to you and your family.

  12. Lucy, you're so right. It's being with those we love that makes any day special.
    Merry Christmas!

  13. Maris, isn't it nice not to worry about fixing that big meal for everyone? For me, that's a wonderful gift and I'm blessed with lots of daughters and granddaughters who are great in the kitchen. They even do clean-up, too. Yes, I just sit back and enjoy.
    Have a wonderful winter in the sunshine!

  14. Diane, oh, those yummy Christmas cookies! I remember them so well...the mess, the frosting smeared all over the kitchen counter (and floor), and the proud look on the kids faces when their masterpieces were finished. Yep, I miss that a lot. In fact, today I'm making spiced pecans and remembering Mama, who always sent me shelled pecans from the big tree in her front yard. Memories...traditions...special times. Have a joyous Christmas!