December 25, 2011

Holiday Traditions

Sometimes the things you picture in your head turn out so different from reality.  I've posted before about how I imagined our home school days would look before I actually started doing it. Attentive kids sitting quietly while I filled their little heads with the wonders of the universe.  We'd go everywhere and do everything and it would always be fun!  How very Mary Poppins of me.  It took a long time to let go of that picture even though we never had one single day that went like that.  Heck, we never had an hour like that.

So it shouldn't be that surprising that my sugar plum visions of Christmas aren't all that accurate either.  Trimming the tree would be a family affair with Christmas music playing in the background.  We would read the numerous holiday books that we have accumulated all through December, ending on Christmas Eve with 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I pictured us baking cookies.  Then the kids would get into their pajamas and brush their teeth, before setting the cookies and milk out for Santa.  They'll climb into bed and fall asleep while B and I drink egg nog and finish wrapping presents.

But the reality is.....the tree decorating is kind of crazy because the girls want to put everything up at once and can only reach the lowest branches (if you have kids, this isn't news to you.)   Robotson generally doesn't want to participate at all.  B and I do a lot of explaining, moving, and lifting to even things out a bit.  The reading thing rarely happens though we have more holiday books than days in the month now.  And B always has to take the little ones to bed so I can finish things up without being spied on.

It used to bother me that none of my fantasies were reality, until I realized that we do have family traditions and they were born from the uniqueness of our family.

No matter how lopsided the ornaments are, the top of our tree always has a Santa hat with Mickey Mouse ears.  We do bake cookies.  Our family does sugar cookies (this year they were vegan, soft, and oh SO yummy!) and we decorate them with loads of icing and sprinkles.  This year we had friends over to help us, see below for pictures!  We also leave Santa soda, not milk.  This year it's a Barq's Red Creme soda that we have imported from Ohio.  It's Santa's personal favorite we've heard.  And on Christmas Eve we all sleep upstairs in B's and my room.  It's the one night of the year that we are all together so that we see everything together in the morning.

Our traditions aren't the sort that make it into storybooks or movies, but they evolved naturally in our lives and reflect things that are special to us.  Every year I learn to appreciate more of what we actually have, and worry less about what is supposedly missing.

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday!










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