With the holidays approaching at breakneck speed, I'm thinking about holiday traditions, and how I've passed on some of what I did when I was younger, but added my own to be something special that my girls and I do.
Growing up, we had ham for Thanksgiving. I don't like turkey, and my parents weren't big on turkey either. We also had mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, yeast rolls, and pecan pie. Now that I'm hosting Thanksgiving, we have the above, plus green bean rollups (green beans rolled in bacon and covered with melted butter and brown sugar - yum!), and Jessica salad (pistachio pudding, pineapple and cool whip mixed together). I only make sweet potatoes and cranberries if my dad comes for dinner. Otherwise, they're nixed because no one else likes it. I still don't make a turkey. It's not tradition.
When I was younger, my mom would put up the tree, and then she would string the lights and the garland. She used pearls for garland. I have a garland of pearls and gold cord that I use now. Once she was satisfied with that, she would let me and my brother hang the glass balls, but we had to make sure we didn't have too many of the same color together, or too many in one spot. Because she was anal that way. Then my brother and I would hang our ornaments - Snoopy on a sled for me, and a tiger in a circus cage for my brother. As we made ornaments in school, we would hang those, too. I still have my Snoopy (he lost his sled a long time ago), my brother's tiger, and some of my school ornaments.
Now for Christmas, I put on the Charlie Brown Christmas DVD and, I put up the tree, string the lights and the garland. I let my girls do the ornaments. Each of my girls has their own set of ornaments that they hang. Now that my oldest daughter is, well, older, she hasn't been around sometimes when we decorate, so she tells me to hang them. It's just not the same, so I wait until she is home and make her hang them. My kids hang some of my older ornaments if they want, but Snoopy is mine. I hang him, in the same spot, every year. It's a tradition.
As my girls have gotten taller, the ornaments have been spaced out more evenly. But I loved it when they were shorter - they would hang them all in one space, or all along the bottom of the tree. And yes, I would eventually space them out. Because I'm anal that way.
My girls get oranges in their stockings, because I did when I was little. Kelli doesn't even like oranges, but she gets one. It's just a tradition.
Finally, my girls and I get into the car, put on the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, and drive to Our Lady of the Snows (www.snows.org) to see the lights. Last year was the first time that Jessica, didn't go with us. I may have cried a little, but don't tell her that.
I've kept some of the traditions from my childhood, but incorporated some new things that I hope my kids will keep doing, and add their own traditions. I bet Kelli won't give her kids oranges. Just a thought.