After just celebrating Thanksgiving and with Christmas approaching, (way to fast I might add) I have realized how some traditions serve a purpose for a time and place and some just fade away…
Last year was my firsts of everything being divorced, so reality, everything was just different period. Not in a bad or sad way, just nothing was the same as it had been for the last 22 years, but when I think about life till this point, so many things have changed from year to year.
Growing up, I spent holidays with family, sometimes going to the same house, eating the same food, watching the same people have the same fights. :). I can totally recall my grandparents and my own parents fighting over when the turkey is done or if the mashed potatoes were too lumpy. My mom would make the same cranberry salad for Thanksgiving and a pistachio one for Christmas, they were staples. When I was young we would go cut our Christmas tree down, something that I brought to my marriage and we did for our kids each year. I started Black Friday shopping when my older kids were young, like I brought a double stroller with me young! This is something that I have done each year and Leighton joined me once she didn’t believe in Santa anymore. Last year was Pressley’s first year going with us and yesterday us 3 plus Mason’s girlfriend all went out shopping.
Traditions to me are a year to year thing, I honestly like doing and trying new things, I know I don’t like feeling stuck having to do things, because that is the way they always were done. Last year we did not cut a tree down, instead me and Press went to Walmart and bought a white tree with white lights on it. It kinda reminds me of a Charlie Brown tree, but it stands for what life is about now, which is about things changing all the time, not good not bad, but being able to go with the flow, doing what feels right in the moment. This is something I want my kids to be able to do with anything in life, to know that YOU get to do what feels right for you at the time. I do not want them to believe you have to do things the same way year after year, that you can change, tweak, do whatever it is that you want to do. Life is always changing and I think that is one thing that people have a hard time, going with the flow of life. Traditions, don’t always work year to year, you might not be in the same place, with the same people, or feel the same way…
This Thanksgiving was different than last years, it was even better! Mason wanted to help cook, so we decided on stir fry and a creamy risotto asparagus. Yes, not a normal combination, but I have to say it was the BEST food ever, but even with that, it was the memories that were created. Having my kids and Mason’s girlfriend there, chopping, cooking and talking are the things that mean more than any tradition. I keep telling my kids next year is a big change for all of us, I will be moving, Mason will be transferring to the U in January living on campus, and Leighton will be starting college in the fall, maybe in Florida. So these times, moments are SO precious and important for all of us, these are the memories that will bond us even stronger, to help us all in the next chapters of our lives. I don’t know what next year will be, but I know we will all find our way back together and keep creating more moments.
I did make my moms cranberry salad as Leight insisted on it, so I guess that is one tradition that made it. :).
Traditions should be allowed to change whenever they do not serve a purpose in your life. I don’t believe you need to do the same things you did as a child or what society says is the way. Look at your traditions, do they make you feel happy each year? Or are they more of a “We have to do this” because that is what we always do. Remember, you create whatever it is you want in life, it can change and evolve each year. The most important thing in life is LOVE what you are doing and who you are doing it with.
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