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December 26, 2010

Traditions

Reading blogs in preparation for the Christmas holiday, I enjoyed reading about the different traditions families have established and maintained through the years. It has been a joy to me to read between the lines of the kindness and exhilaration each year as people unpack their decorations and invite their loved ones to participate in the rituals of the holiday.

It still amazes me to get to know some wonderful people in blogland who have lived in a home many years and even more astounding to be in a relationship many many years. Growing up in the family I was born into was not about consistency except in the dysfunctional way we related to each other. I am making friends online with people who come from rock solid happy homes with parents who live as examples of mature and loving adults and that joy is rubbing off on me.

I have been thinking of the things throughout my adult years that brought me joy at Christmas. And I am starting our own traditions in our little hippie life. I think there were some things that each of my children carried into their adult lives that they call their traditions and that makes me happy they found some joy to take with them into their own families.

One tradition here is to use at least some of the angels I have collected over many years. I tried different themes as a young adult: All silver; then silver and blue; even sprayed tumbleweeds stacked in the shape of a tree and tied with red ribbons; one of my favorites was a couple years doing every holiday with a patriotic theme. I guess I was searching for what suited me best for a long time. I started collecting angels while I was still trying different themes. One year I decorated a Charlie Brown Christmas tree with some of the angels and that has been the only decorations I have used since then. I did not decorate every year though. On holidays I did not put up any decorations and was alone at Christmas things did not feel right. So putting up some decorations is a good thing for me and handling each angel and remembering what part of the world I was visiting or residing when I bought each angel is part of the tradition too. Hubby has a connection to the angels as well, and we share a gratefulness for the unseen and unknown angels in each of our lives throughout our lives.

I am still working on more traditions for us to initiate and carry forward in our little hippie home. We are only two but we are a family. Building traditions is a good thing whenever they begin. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

38 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

The idea of angels is wonderful to me as I do believe in them. :)

It's interesting when you talk about traditions because yeah there are small things that we carry on doing each year that are traditions but I hadn't even thought about them like that.

Even though neither of our kids believe in Father Christmas anymore they still leave out a glass of sherry and a mince pie for him on Christmas Eve. We always have cooked sausage rolls for breakfast on Christmas day etc.

I think traditions are good, but you also have to accept that they may not always happen. People die, kids leave, tastes change etc.

So I suppose the only unchanging tradition for us that I believe will only change with illness or death is going to church on Christmas day.

How about watching a movie together that you both love whilst eating and drinking your favourite food?

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

My mom collected most of the flowers and decorations given to her during weddings. And she used them all for my sister's wedding.

Young people today think that it is lame.

But why buy new stuff when all you already have are ok.

:) Nice traditions.

Brian Miller said...

nice. traditions buils that consistancy that also brings comfort...we do fruit and choaolate fondue on christmas night...

Syd said...

The angels around are neat. Traditions here include putting out the decorations that have been handed down. Some are very old. And we built a new tradition by having recovery folks over for Christmas buffet. Just simple things like fixing a Christmas stollen has become a tradition.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

I am TOTALLY glad to have met you guys this year, thanks a million! And happy new year!

Fireblossom said...

Who ARE these stable people with their traditions? What planet are they from? Not mine, I guess. I do have a home-made Santa head that I hang on the front door every year. My former partner's friend made him, but i was the one who liked him, so I nabbed him. You and me, Santa babe. Two rocks in the swirling weirdness of a changing world.

TechnoBabe said...

LL Cool Joe, I knew you would dig the angels. I like your cooked sausage rolls for Christmas breakfast. We did ham biscuits. And we watched Murphy's Romance which we had watched previously but I am such a sap for it.

Shadowthorne, Your mom is so cool. I like recycling what we can. It makes sense.

Brian, I like your comment that traditions = consistency = comfort.

Syd, you have such giving and sharing hearts. That is one of the best traditions.

Gary, same here. Here's hoping for a healthy, happy, prosperous new year for you and your Mrs.

Shadow said...

angels are a perfect choice. as with you, most of my traditions and memories come from a 'disfunctional' space, and creating your own, new ones, makes perfect sense. maybe i should try that. might bring the fun back to the holidays...

deb said...

Merry Christmas to you and your love.

I wonder what traditions my children will gather from us. I don't know if I have any . I am still a little afraid to get attached to them as though they mean love. I'm working on that.

We do all love each other and I am cleaning with an overflowing heart from the dinner with 14 cherished souls still this morning , and I couldn't ask for much more really.

gayle said...

I love your angel tradition! Angels are around us everyday!

Jeanie said...

I'll bet you and hubby are establishing you own traditions without even knowing it and that they are coming out of the happiness and peace you have found with each other.

TechnoBabe said...

Shadow, I recommend that you do that. It has helped me so much.

deb, I can feel your heart overflowing and I am so glad for you.

gayle, angels are indeed around.

Jeanie, good point. And you are right.

Hilary said...

The beauty of tradition is that it's never to late to start one, or several. And really all it takes is twice to make it so.

Kristina P. said...

I need to build up more traditions. We didn't ever really have consistent traditions when I was growing up. My Grandmother did buy us a new ornament every year, before she passed away. Sadly, I think after my mom moved so many times, that box of ornaments has been lost.

beth said...

i wish we had a few traditions that my kids will carry with them....but we really don't. after years of moving all over the place and usually coming home to wisconsin for christmas, anything at our own home was minimal.
BUT, i think we all have our own idea of what christmas means to us and i'm sure my kids will spoil their kids just like we have always done to them....not with materialistic things, but with togetherness and laugher and hugs.....

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

One of our traditions has been Grandma Doris' green bean casserole. This year it got bumped for a broccoli casserole that is even better and more delicious! There were some mild complaints from the younger members of the family, but spoonfuls of fab won them over. Funny how much our grown kids hang on so tightly to the traditions we started years ago. Now the grandkids are loving them too. :)

Jeni said...

When I think or speak of traditions here, within my family, those things are mainly the stuff I grew up and which were held as traditional. I would love to incorporate more and more of those old doings into my family's holiday festivities but so far, have not been able to really find some that work well within the family today. I think the closest I have come has been to bake the Swedish Limpa Rye bread -which the kids and the grandkids love -and some cookies are sort of traditional but this year, I didn't do any of those, just four different cookies. (Although, the tartlet ccokies generally make an appearance here and did so again this year so I guess they have made the transition -although, they were not part of my old family traditions but rather that is a recipe for a type of cookie I have come to really like. The attendance at the late service at our church has ALWAYS been a part of our celebration and I can usually manage to get all three kids to do church at least on Christmas Eve. This year, older daughter was "excused" from attending because she had worked the midnight shift the night before and had only managed to get about 2, maybe 3 hours, of sleep before coming up here for Christmas Eve so she stayed home and kept company with Kurtis, so we didn't have to take him to church with us. (That move could have proved to be disastrous since he doesn't really enjoy the singing in a regular church service and the Christmas Eve service here, being about 90% music, would have made for a really bad experience for him -and then us by default too, ya know. Like you, I'm still looking for things for my small family to do that appeals to everyone and I think the constant search for those things is what keeps us going forward, don't you? Hope you and your love have an exceptional New Year!

Mmm said...

Aw, I love your post here. So very true. I too amaze at those with such quintessential homes of traditions and love how you and I can appreciate that and be warmed by it to invent our own new traditions.

wishing you the very best in your littlw hippie home, Technobabe. And, haha, I did rather have to laugh at the painted tumbleweed--I too did that one year.

Kazzy said...

Two is a family for sure! And traditions keep things bound together. I love them!

Unknown Mami said...

A family of two is still a family and traditions can be so very wonderful.

I am wishing you a very happy new year!

janeywan said...

As you saw on my blog..I think we may be starting new traditions, making our own.
I never would have thought we would share Christmas day in a gambling town. Heck we don't gamble. The company and the food were good. Something different can be fun.
I think raisin filled cookies are going to be a new tradition for me. I love them!

Pseudo said...

I love the angels as a tradition. I, too, did not have a traditional childhood and lived most of the year in the middle of dysfunction. But, my parents pulled it together for most holidays and Christmas was one where a lot of my best memories come from.

One thing we do over the holidays is have a lot of candles. I love the ambiance of a candle lit room.

Wishing both of you much joy and peace in you sweet hippie home.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Angels are lovely, and I'm sure that yours are most delighted to be acknowledged by you and James. I think that your new home will suggest appropriate traditions as you live there, and they will evolve naturally and effortlessly. One day, you will simply realize that you have been following a tradition which makes you happy, and will want to continue to do so.

I wish you both much peace and happiness in the New Year.

Dave King said...

It's great to hear some more developed thinking on the subject of angels. Even those who have moved on from childhood in their thinking about all other aspects of the Christmas story seem so often to get stuck when it comes to angels.

TechnoBabe said...

Hilary, I like your thinking. Hubby and I are halfway to some of our own traditions!

Kristina, you and Adam could buy one ornament during each year when you are out somewhere.

beth, yes, the best traditions are filled with laughter and love. Lots of love.

Steadfast Ahoy, I am going to get your broccoli casserole recipe from you.

Jeni, for as long as I have been reading your blog, you speak of such lovely traditions. Well, all the family things you do and all the extended family you are close to warms my heart.

Mmm, so you and I are the Tumbleweed Twins? Sounds like a good name for a band. Ha.

Kazzy, I do so like your mentioning that traditions keep things bound together, in love and happy expectations of course.

Unknown Mami, I am walking next to you during this next year.

janeywan, it was nice to see your stepping out and doing something fun and different.

Pseudo, thanks for the candles idea. We have three large candles but we could certainly enjoy many more during the holidays. Hubby is the one lighting them all the time.

heartsinsanfrancisco, yay, I agree that we may just find favorite ways to enjoy special days in our little hippie house and thank you for your kind words.

Dave, I didn't know consciously that angels were looking out for me when I was a kid, but throughout my young life I came to believe on a conscious level. Welcome to the angel club, Dave.

Happy Frog and I said...

I really enjoyed this post. Have been trying to rack my brains to think of specific family traditions but keep coming up short. I love Christmas time though and spending quality time with people I love. :-)

Sabi Sunshine said...

I love angels and i believe them a lot in them ..Tradition makes your life more enjoyable and interesting.

Have a lovely week..!

Love
Sabi Sunshine

Enchanted Oak said...

We are two here, as well. On Christmas Eve, we've made a point of asking cousins to join us, since we have no nuclear family nearby except one grown daughter and her b friend who have other things to do on Christmas day. We have learned to love the evening festivities, and then the quiet that comes Christmas day. It isn't the greeting-card stuff, but it is nice.

Life with Kaishon said...

I just read a nice article about how a wife did an act of kindness every year and then wrote a letter to her husband and placed it on the tree. I thought that was brilliant.

Eileen said...

I like your angel decoration tradition, and I love the sentiment behind it!

I'm very lucky to have been Blessed with a 'traditional' family growing up, and a very big family, but that doesn't mean we were without our dysfunctions every now and then. And it's the same with my family and my marriage now, I feel so Blessed that in spite of our 'dysfunctional' moments and relationships, we have survived as a family and move forward, trying to look for the positive.
And kudos to you too for doing the same.
It makes no sense to look back and dwell in sadness, 'so much better to be in the here and now and to give yourself a break and surround yourself with love.

And I agree with you about reading other blogs, it is amazing to read other lives/relationships. And I've found it helps me with my own life/family/Faith/relationships.
People are good!

'Loved this post!
All the best,
Eileen

Maggie said...

This is really sad, but I have no Christmas traditions. Well, I do but haven't felt like doing them for the past 5 years ever since dad left to the states. Dad finally finished his contract and is coming home in February so I might be more cheerful and celebrate Christmas 2011. I know we shouldn't stop Christmas tradition because someone left or something, but I don't know it's not the same.
It's really nice to read about your traditions and others makes me really happy, and hope to follow in your foot steps for this upcoming year.

Fancy said...

What a wonderful thought, Technobabe! I take the view that the family tradition (of caring and sharing; of love and friendship) is the fundamental basis of our identity and should be encouraged.

Happy New Year!

KleinsteMotte said...

Yes traditions are a link from one generation to the next.. Buddy reminds us if we forget anything as we age. Happy New Year. We have traditions for it too.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm with you on the angel collection. I have them tucked throughout our house and pull even more out at the holidays. There is something sweet and magical about them, but it's the feeling of a guardian angel that warms my heart.

Building traditions takes time but hubby and I have worded up a few--mostly around the dining table but it's fun to look forward to them each year.

Cheers to you and James, xo jj

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

Traditions are good, including your angels.

Try consistent, special foods, too. It's a primal thing, and the smells and textures will link time and events for you. I eat German chocolate-covered ginger cookies every year, and only at Christmas. They scream Christmas to me.

Anne H said...

Yes - I remember you like Angels.
Maybe some Angel Motif!
Whatever you pick, it will be wonderful!

Marla said...

Traditions, no matter how grand or small, are a sort of glue. What works for me might not work for you but the important thing is to find what matters to you.

May I just say how much I admire you. You remind me of my oldest daughter. She went through 11 foster homes and experienced the unspeakable before we found her. She, like you, is an amazing woman today.

CherylK said...

We have just a few traditions but it took a lot of years to recognize them as such.. We have a special Christmas breakfast, for one thing. And all of the ornaments on our tree are ornaments that we collected the various places we've lived and traveled. It's not a fancy tree but it's fun to hang each ornament and remember where it came from.

One year I made sweet little angels from copper wire for everyone. I'd gladly send one to you if I could.