November 26, 2005


I've been thinking about "traditions" today and how unique and fun they are. Actually I was thinking about them on Thanksgiving and how since we stayed home this year, some of those traditions were broken. We spend Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family and always have. Well, with my grandma living with my aunt now and my uncle recovering from his stem cell transplant AND the fact that both my mom and dad had to work on Friday, we did not get together this year. I thought it would be fun to share some of our family's traditions. Some have been passed down and some have been started by me, now that I have children.

On Thanksgiving my grandma makes the same things every year...including things that may not be considered a "traditional" Thanksgiving dish like...chicken and noodles, oyster dressing and cherry pudding (with nuts for my dad-without for my uncle). Still, we have these things every year, so since we did our own Thanksgiving this year, we didn't have these things except for the cherry pudding (my mom made that for my dad as a surprise). At the end of dinner we asked him if he wanted dessert and we said we had pumpkin pie and apple pie...he sat and thought a minute and then my mom said "OR we have cherry pudding". His face just lit up. I, on the other hand like silly little things with "special" dinners, including candles and non alcoholic wine. We had both this year. It just makes the table look better with candles. And the non alcoholic wine is just for fun...and makes 5 more glasses to wash after dinner. yay!

We don't do the traditional "putting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving" and I will NEVER do the traditional "black friday getting up at 4am to go shopping and trying not to kill anyone who gets in your way because 1. that's just TOO flippin early in the morning to do ANYTHING and 2. I would be a major GROUCH at that time and anyone who got in my way would be in for it."

Hmm, maybe I WOULD do good in a crowd at that time of the day.

We do have our "Christmas lights" tradition that I started when the kids were little and when I was not making much money at all...that consisted of us making hot chocolate and driving around looking at Christmas lights.

I also started the "Christmas Eve PJs" tradition. That is where I let my kids open 1 gift on Christmas Eve and it's always new pajamas, washed and ready to wear, and those are the PJs they wear to bed on Christmas Eve. Sometimes I'll add little things to their pjs like, slippers or a robe or a handmade blanket.

OH yes....the handmade blankets....I started that one last year and already I've heard a million times "are we going to get blankets again, PLEASE!!!". And then my mom put in her request for one too, but bigger. She even has her fabric and design picked out. Hmmm, guess I know what I'll be doing in a couple weeks. Only this year I plan to be more professional and actually measure the fabric and perhaps use two pieces rather than just one. I think it looks better and makes for a cozier blanket.

OH and then we can't forget the Red Ryder BB Gun - 'A Chrismas Story' movie that my dad makes us watch at least a couple times in December. The Chinese restaurant part is hilarious though so it's ok. I have to admit I'm a sucker for Christmas movies. Even the first 'Home Alone' is watchable at Christmastime. I already made my mom sit down and watch the first Christmas CBS Sunday night movie last Sunday. It was called 'Snow Wonder' and it was really good!! I plan on making my mom watch tomorrow's movie's called 'Silver Bells'. Here's the link: It looks good too even though I do not care for Anne Heche...she's too crazy for me...and not a good crazy ... but a looney crazy as in hook up the electrodes and refill the lithium!!

And yes, we still have that crazy tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Santa. I still have a 8 yo who believes and I'm doing everything in my power to continue that as along as possible. I've given Tyler strict orders that he is NOT to in any way tell his younger brother that Santa is not real or I will take all his gifts back to the store. I thought for sure this would be the year that the "Santa Legend" would leave the Clay household, but nope, not yet...Taylor even prayed for him last night. This of course was after Taylor told my dad that he didn't want the "scooper" construction truck that was on his list...even though my dad had made it to Toys R Us early to make SURE he got that $50 remote control construction truck. My dad told him that when he made his list, Santa already had his elves start making the gifts and told him that his bags get filled up long before Christmas Eve, so that there is a very good possibility that he may have already packed that for him. Taylor bought it and said that was ok and that he'd be happy with whatever Santa got him. Then in his prayer last night he prayed for all the tsunami people,(cause he still prays for that every night??), all the hurricane people and for Santa to get all the bags packed in time. Ok, so maybe believing in Santa is not normal for a 3rd grader...but he's our baby and I'm keeping it that way darn it! Besides, I don't want my kids acting like teenagers and growing up before they need to. They can stay kids as long as they'd like. I'm proud my 3rd grader has absolutley NO idea what a joint is. I'm also proud that I have a 6th grader and 3rd grader who have never said the "F" word!!! And I'm pretty sure my 3rd grader doesn't even know that word and if my 6th grader does, it's a good bet he doesn't know what it means. Ahhh, more joys of homeschooling. And NO they are not sheltered!! They are kids!! Anyone have a problem with that??

How I got from traditions to kids being kids is beyond me, but ya know I gotta get my 2 cents in there about how kids should be raised in every post. OH!! and praise God! 11 yr old is standing over my shoulder reading this right now, and he just said "What's a joint?". Giving myself some "good mama" pats on the back...:o) Yippeee, my kids are KIDS!!!

~happy holidays - cause they are here~