I would venture to guess, most everyone has at least one holiday tradition in their family. It may be as simple as a favorite recipe made each year, or a house where all gather. That one event that we all look forward to, that seems to connect us together again.
Who can forget Christmas morning as a kid? Waking early, rushing to the living room to see all the bright packages piled under the tree. Searching carefully for one with my name on it, hoping it holds that magical item I just HAD to have. And then, we wait. Oh, the agony of waiting for the rest of the family to wake up. Don’t they know it’s CHRISTMAS?! Finally, after what seems forever, the others would come out, equally excited ready to get the day moving. And then, we wait. Our parents were not out yet. Have they lost their Christmas spirit? Arent’ they excited?
One year, I may have been about 10 or so, things changed a little. Lined up in front of the fireplace were 9 new, matching red stockings. Green and white trim bordered the top, our names embroidered across the front. Filled with treats and a small gift. Oh how exciting! Just about that time, our parents made it into the living room, looking in dire need of a cup of coffee. As my mother made her way to the kitchen to get the coffee started, she informed us all that yes, we could have whatever is in the stocking while we she gets breakfast ready. SWEET! let’s see what treats and treasures we have.
We each found our stocking and commenced to dump its contents in front of us. Inside we found, an orange or an apple, a handful of mixed nuts in the shells, a handful of Brachs candies and a small gift. It may be nail polish for the girls, or a yo-yo or some other small item. No matter what it was, it was something we could have right then. More important, I think, it gave time for my parents to get that much-needed cup of coffee.
That is but one fond tradition I had growing up. There were plenty of other traditions. For example: carefully decorating sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies to be used as ornaments on the tree; finding the bottom half of the tree empty in the morning, because the dog ate them. Or having mini english muffin pizzas , eggs and moms cherry ring for breakfast.
My husband’s family has their traditions as well. Notes in every package, kielbasa for breakfast, new pajamas from grandma. Now that we have our own family, we have blended some of his, some of mine, to make ours. I do hope one day that our boys will remember those traditions, remember that what truly made them happy wasn’t all the “things” they got but the love and family .
I looked forward every year to that christmas stocking. I don’t remember many of the “must have” items in the bright shiny packages, but that stocking was always there. I may still have it, tucked away in a box somewhere.
What traditions do you cherish, or have passed on?