Monday, December 1, 2008

Tradition, tradition! Tradition!

As many of you who read last year's article Not All Merry And Bright know, this time of year is particularly difficult for me. This COG has prodded me to remember some of the best times and that is a very good way to start the season. Thank you, Jasia.

When I began to write this article, I really thought that as a family we had no traditions; so I called my daughter for her opinion - as a child of mine she always has one. Opinion that is.

Food, she tells me, is one of our traditions. Christmas and Thanksgiving meals are the same today as they were thirty-seven years ago. My daughter carries on that tradition in her home with a few additions from her husband's family. My rice and creamed peas have always been a success, my cornbread stuffing was never a favorite with the children so they have eliminated it from the menu. I make a batch just for my husband and me. And there is the food of summer; deviled eggs for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tradition!

When I was a small child my mother put a bottle of olives or maraschino cherries in our Christmas stockings. Olives for me, cherries for my sister and brothers. I carried on the tradition with my children, one olive two cherries. My daughter starts that tradition with her children this year. I have no idea why my mother did this, but I did it because it reminded me of Christmas at home. Tradition!

Christmas as a child meant my Father's peanut butter fudge. The best fudge I have ever eaten. And it was a production. Dad at the stove and the four of us standing on chairs around him. The drop of fudge in the class of cold water; Dad knowing when it looked just right. He always had four spoons for us to lick. As an adult if I was away from home at Christmas Dad would mail a box of fudge to me. I make fudge every Christmas, not as good as Dad's, but Tradition!

When the children were young I went all out with decorating. If it stood still too long I decorated it and many a sleeping cat and dog awoke to find bells on their collars. No room was missed. My daughter, the mother, says her house looks like Christmas threw up all over it. Tradition!

No present could be opened on Christmas morning until my husband and I were seated on the living room floor coffee and tea in hand. The children had to wait on the stairs until the O.K. was given. Then it was a free for all. This was also one of my Mother's Traditions!

My children always wrote to Santa. One year their grade school decided the younger students, K-3 would write to Santa and the sixth graders would answer their letters. My oldest daughter, the sixth grader, muscled her way into getting her brother's and younger sister's letters. She knew many secrets about the two of them and she used those secrets to convince them Santa really did know when you were naughty or nice.

The day they received their letters from Santa they blew in the front door and ran straight for their rooms. I found both of them cleaning under their beds. It seems Santa knew that when their mother asked them to clean they lifted the bed skirts and shoved everything under the bed. Very clever that Santa, he even named a few of the under bed items.

I knew something was up when my oldest daughter was found on her bed with a pillow over her head so no one would hear her laughing. My grandchildren write Santa, and my daughter often answers. She the victim of what was under the bed. Ah, Tradition!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have made very happy times and wonderful traditions for your children and grandchildren, oh the memories they have and will have!

I just read why this time of year is tough for you. If you didn't have great memories, it wouldn't be tough. I am a strong believer that things happen for a reason, at any given time, although we may not understand it at the time. I believe you need to play more Christmas music, sing like the carolers and know your family and friends are with you in your heart. Continue to remember the good times, the traditions, and how blessed you really are! May your Christmas season be filled with love, laughter, and peace. Merry Christmas to a GREAT blogger who I am honored to know through cyberspace!

December 2, 2008 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger TK said...

fM, your letters-from-Santa story is hilarious!

Somehow I missed your post last year. I do hope the holidays find you more at peace this year than in the past. Sometimes writing about things is such a help.

December 4, 2008 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Thank you so much! I am trying really hard this year to only remember the good times.

How well I do will depend on that first Christmas Carol.

A very Merry Christmas to you my blogging friend.

I hope to see you caroling December 12.

- fM

December 4, 2008 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


It is an honor that the wittiest woman I know thought the letters-from-Santa story was hilarious.

Merry Christmas and please Blog-Carol!

- fM

December 4, 2008 at 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Tevye title - I couldn't stop singing the song myself as I wrote my own post.

December 4, 2008 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Only problem. I can't stop singing it!


December 4, 2008 at 4:51 PM  

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