Monday, November 24, 2008

What's Your Holiday Tradition?

I'm feeling in need of some adult holiday traditions in my life.  Someone in one of my groups (and I can't recall which one) asked what adult holiday traditions we each have -- not the ones that revolve around being children or around having children, like putting cookies out for Santa, but actual adult things.  And people started naming all sorts of things.  Do you know there is a couple who happily decorate their turkey's wishbone every Thanksgiving evening?   This is true.  *nodding head with seriousness here*   They grab some champagne, glue and ribbons and glitter (I suppose) and decorate away.  They have a history of doing this every year.  My tradition is washing the dishes and falling asleep or watching other people sleep; namely, my husband and his brother or my son.   Once my kids got past the Santa stage I forgot about traditions altogether.  I didn't think I needed them, but now I'm wondering if I'm missing out on something.

So this year, with an eye toward trying new things,  I'm officially reinstating traditions.  However, I'm not really sure how a tradition gets started when it doesn't revolve around official things like the Santa cookies or the Halloween pumpkin.  Do you do something once and find that you  like it so much that you do it again, and after a while it's kind of a tradition?   And when is it officially "The Tradition?"  Hmmm.  But the thing is, (and I can feel myself veering off the path here) what if there is a year when you don't want to do it?  Or someone who was involved the first or second time can't make it or doesn't want to do the thing?  Then are you breaking tradition?  Here is the little twist in the path where my problems start to pop  their heads up.  This is exactly why my first five blogs ended after the first two entries:  the minute I started them, they felt like serious commitments from which I could not escape.  A net.  A trap.

Ok, maybe now I'm letting you, my anonymous reader know just a little too much about me. I'm not commitment phobic.  I have a mortgage, for God's sake.  So back to the topic:  traditions and how they get a stranglehold on you and choke the life out of you until you can't breathe and want to die, like a box of godiva chocolates on a Christmas table.  

I've decided this year will be our first Thanksgiving movie day; potentially the start of a tradition if all goes well.  So in this case, it will be Ally and Ben, Lou and me. We'll watch a new DVD at home:  The Clique movie because our dear friend Ellen Marlow happens to be starring in it, and how often do you get to do that?  Then dinner, and after dinner a movie out -- and I might even skip the popcorn if I'm disgustingly full of turkey and dessert.  And voila!  A tradition for this year at least.  If we want to see a movie again next year?  Two years of a tradition!   And if we have company on an occasion of Thanksgiving Future, and if the companeers want to join us, along they come.    If they are busy?  No problem.  No nets, no traps. It's not their tradition, after all.  And if I don't want to go, I won't go and they can go themselves.  The perfect tradition:  you can put it on auto pilot.    Tradition  It's a perfect thing, is it not?  

I'm practically feeling like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.


GardeningJo said...

There are certain things I like to do specific to every holiday and I suppose one could call them "traditions" but they're nothing I have to do every year without fail.

For instance, this year I didn't carve a jack o'lantern for Halloween and I was fine with that because I just didn't want to. (Sounds silly but it's normally something I look forward to each year).

We're foregoing a large turkey this Thanksgiving and baking a ham (and a small turkey breast so my Sister-in-law's feelings won't be hurt) and while slightly resistant to the idea at first (Hubby's not mine), I am now ok with this as well!

Traditions have to have meaning in order to be done. If not, they're a pointless waste of time and energy! Do them when it feels right I say!

Brandie said...

I don't have any traditions that are outside the normal ones everyone else does. Makes me wonder if maybe I should?! I think your idea sounds great!

~Barb~ said...

When I married my husband 3 years ago, we decided that we wanted traditions that were true to just us, as a family. We have family game night with frozen adult drinks (I know, crazy in the coldest time of the year) on Christmas eve...we do movies on Thanksgiving Day, too...neither of us likes sports and we're too full to do much of anything else. lol

I think traditions are just those things that feel good to us to do.

Peace & Love,

Cid said...

We have the "kid-driven" traditions, but some of my favorite are those that are fun and different :)

When we moved this last time, I decided it might be fun for the adults in the family to stuff Christmas stockings for each other. There are 10 of us, and we buy a small (I'm talking worth a buck or so) gift for each of the other people's stockings (well, personally, I get a lil something for myself, too!) It's fun to open them, and fun to shop for the little gifts, too! This is going to be our 5th year, so I guess it's become a Tradition.

Another of my favorites is eating tamales, beans and rice for our Christmas Eve dinner...I grew up in Southern Arizona, home of GREAT Mexican food and lots of sources of good homemade tamales. I think my mom started this tradition when I was a small child, and I continue it in my home still :)

I *love* your movie Thanksgiving idea...we'll see if it catches on here!!