Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Finally J and I have returned from our Christmas trip to visit the family. Good to be home.
It’s strange how traditions change as family dynamics do. I used to love going to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for Christmas eve when I was a kid. My Mom would buy my sister and I these new dresses every year for Christmas. During the day she’d put our hair in curlers so it would be curly and we usually had new hair ribbons to match the new dresses, and I can almost still smell the scent of her perfume and my dad’s after-shave as we all got dressed to go to dinner. Dinner was always the same - and actually this is one part of Christmas that hasn’t changed for my family. We always have fish. Always. Terrible as a kid, but I do like it now. After dinner everyone would gather around the tree and sing Christmas carols and then Santa would show up and pass out gifts. We stayed there until around midnight when we would then head over to Midnight Mass at Church. That was always so magical for me, the statues at the alter and the singing, and the candles, and I think most times I’d fall asleep right there in the pew. After my Aunt and Uncle were no longer able to have the big dinner at their house, our family tradition was altered a little and it was at my Mom’s house. Still the same food, still lots of gift giving around the tree, still church going. Different in some ways, and after a few years we acclimated ourselves to our new tradition. Within the past two years our Christmas has changed again - a lot of the people in our family are no longer here, including my Mom. We now have dinner at a cousin’s house, and while the menu is the same, it definitely feels different. We still sat around the tree and exchanged gifts but the older folks talking, playing cards, laughing, and the kids playing and awaiting Santa, well those things don’t happen anymore. I suppose it will take some time to acclimate ourselves again to this new tradition. I guess new traditions aren’t necessarily bad things, it just takes some getting used to, and some time for them to become traditions.

I thought I would lose my mind without my near-daily dose of blog reading. Now I have a lot of catching up to do. Hope that you all had nice holidays - whatever holidays you and your families celebrate.


Carrie said...

It is hard when things have to change. I hope the new ways become as good as the memories one day.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

Welcome home. Change is so hard. I remember the first Christmas I spent away from my sisters. I still had my parents, but the whole family was no longer together. It's been 6 years and I'm still really used to it. I do hope that your new traditions take hold soon. There is nothing like that kind of comfort during the holidays! :)