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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Adjusting Family Traditions



Since Silent Sam was diagnosed and our journey started the week after Thanksgiving, we had to make some changes in our Christmas traditions.  It seems that some of the foods that we would normally have around the house for Christmas were not exactly the type of thing that we should be eating.  (Once again, no food is forbidden - it is an individual choice.)  Things that we were better off not having were foods like French Silk Pie, Christmas ribbon candy, a 6 gallon bucket of three-way popcorn, and Christmas cookies.  We also get some food gifts through work - most seemed to be candy this year, ironically enough.  We sent off the items that arrived  either to work or to neighbors.  (One neighbor told me that we were not to send anything else to her house...) 

When the kids were little, we would set aside a Sunday night in early December and put up the Christmas tree and decorate it.  After we decorated it, we would turn off the house lights leaving on only the Christmas tree lights and sing Christmas Carols.  Somehow, as the kids got older, there was no way they were going to sing with us.  Sadly that tradition went away.  But the tradition that grew in its place was the annual decorating of the Christmas Cookies.  Please note - not the making of the Christmas cookies but the decorating of them.  On a designated Saturday night before Christmas, the kids would invite friends over  to decorate cookies.  It seems that my kids usually turned this into "who can make the funkiest color and worst looking Christmas cookie" while their friends would be making works of art. 

We decided that we needed to change this particular tradition.  None of us needed the decorated Christmas cookies.  BUT being the insecure Mom that wanted the kids to still come home, I felt I had to think of something else.  We decided on a tree decorating/game night.  On the designated Saturday, we picked out the tree in the afternoon and then decorated it that night.  After we finished with the tree, we played a game. We played for several hours and had a great time. 

I think that it is hard to change family food traditions. It takes work to think of something to replace the food.  The game night worked well for us.  We laughed, we teased each other, and I lost.  All great fun for everyone. 

Easter is rolling toward us now.  We do have one Easter tradition that will not change.  Every Easter, I make a lamb cake.  It is awful looking.  It always needs a straw to prop up the head.  Someone usually sneaks in gives the lamb pink eyes made of jelly beans. Then the lamb falls over.  As my Mother-in-law said one year (with great wonder in her voice) "Despite how it looks, it tastes good."  I will make the lamb cake this year - it isn't really that big and everyone can afford a small piece.Who knows, this could be the year it is a masterpiece.  (right....)


I do still (don't roll your eyes at me) give the kids and their significant others an Easter basket.  I will probably not give candy this year.  I am thinking more of a tee shirt that says "Mom's the best!"  I am sure they would be thrilled....

Thanks for reading!