Sunday, December 26, 2010

Traditions Old and New

Boxing Day...What a weird name for a holiday..I did google it once and found out that in the "olden" days it meant that people would box up their leftovers and take them to the homeless and food kitchens. With the amount of leftovers in my fridge and freezer today I can certainly understand why one would want to do that.

Today has been a sad day..Keith and I have spent many hours since all our children and grandchildren went home from our celebration Christmas Eve night talking about problems and why things don't always turn out the way you want and mostly about stuff. After many hours I finally came to the conclusion that I am trying to hang on to traditions that are a huge part of me and my childhood. Traditions that have made me who I am today. What Keith finally got me to realize was that they were MY traditions and that I cannot expect my family to have the same ones or want to keep them.

At this time of year I get very homesick for my extended family, my mom, brothers and their families. I truly do feel like I live on another planet at times. We always open our presents at midnight.. have been since I was born...the little grandchildren were having a hard time waiting this 9pm they were just so cute going around saying pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease pretty please over and over again. So we figured we would let them open their stockings which again was very different as Santa is who brings the stockings. It confused them as one of the little girls figured Santa would not come now.

But we opened them and it became chaotic. I want to see each child opening their stockings and gifts to I can take pictures but some family members did not like this. They kept telling the little ones to just rip through the papers and to just open them. I missed seeing one grandchild open up all his presents and his stocking. Not one single picture and that upset me. I kept telling everyone that it was fine to wait that no one ever collapsed by waiting a few minutes.

After everyone went home Keith I just looked at one another and kind of just sat here in our living room wondering what had just happened. Yesterday we stayed in jammies all day and just cleaned up the cyclone. One son had misplaced a receipt so all the bags of paper had to be emptied and each piece of paper had to be unfolded and checked. Never did find it even after all that searching. We threw away plates of food that were everywhere....A couple of times there was someone upset because one food item was all eaten and they felt they were "ripped off" even though there was soooo much food leftover no one would go away hungry.

Things will definitely have to change for next year... Keith feels our house is too small for our size of family but our house is bigger then anyone else. I think of my grandparents homes and they weren't bigger then ours and their families were much larger then ours..but....I finally agreed that change needs to happen. This coming from someone who HATES change, who firmly believes in traditions and things being the same ...

So what I think we finally have agreed on is to not do a big family Christmas dinner with everyone here. Each individual family can come over when they are free on Christmas Day to open their presents and this way I can see each one open their presents, no one will have to feel like they have to rush opening up their gifts and stockings etc..and there won't be any more food issues, no more having to clean up after all these people for 2 days afterward, .....

after all.... traditions aren't everything are they?


Kim Siever said...

We open our presents one at a time.