So… Tis the season where I think more and more about the traditions that we have… The traditions that we make…
This morning I was standing with my 18 year old baby girl in the line that wraps around JCPenny’s waiting for 6 am. They open late this year… We are here to go get a free Mickey Mouse snowglobe. They give them away every year. We’ve done this every year but one in the last 12 and that year we were at Disney World and I didn’t know where Penny’s was… Looks like this was the last year we will be doing this one… Turns out that last year was the last year they had the Mickey Snowglobes. Makes me sadder than it probably should.

Yesterday we ustreamed Thanksgiving between Texas and Pennsylvania. I spent most of the day sitting at the kitchen table, in full view of one laptop, with a second laptop sitting in front of me watching what was going on at my mom’s house. It was nice to be a part of her hustle and bustle while I watched my turkey and crocheted and spent most of the day sitting all alone. It was good to see Amandya goofing around in front of the webcam so they could see her. She held up the cat… and the dog… and growled when my brother played Dominick the Donkey. I finished my ‘paper chain’ scarf I was working on. I guess if my hands cooperate I will start working on a purple one… just because I’m weird and somehow they seem like a good idea right now.

One of the traditions that has always met with discussion is the fact that we put up our Christmas tree (usually) the weekend after Halloween. When I was a kid, it was our tradition to cut a tree in the woods on one of the family’s farms. We put it up Christmas eve and Santa decorated it. And stockings always had an orange, an apple and a bunch of nuts in them… and one candy cane. And daddy always brought home the bags from the Christmas party that I never got to go to at the Union Hall. SOME traditions are made to be broken. So, when I had my kids, we started decorating the tree as early as I figured was reasonable and scooched it closer to the first of November as they grew older. When it hit Halloween… it kind of stuck. And I encourage my kids to help decorate. When they were little it took way longer to decorate the tree, but it meant so much more to me because they were involved. I know that, after four other kids, my parents were probably just tired of the whole BS of having to deal with a kid hanging four decorations on the same branch and not decorating the tree “right” (hanging blue bulbs next to blue bulbs and red ones next to red ones… and the ultimate crime… not hanging icicles ONE strand at a time). I never did get to have the tradition that some of the family had for a while (Christmas Tree Decorating Party… or cookie exchange)… mostly because I’ve never really had many friends to “hang” with… but… you take traditions where you can get them.

This year will mark an interesting new tradition. Last year, my brother bought a nativity scene. Each one of us kids got a figurine. I got the angel because I am the one that grew wings and flew away. Every year, wherever we are, we are supposed to put our figurine in a special place of honor. At home, if we get to make it home, in the set so it is all together… in a place of honor no matter where we are if not home. AND, each of us kids (how is that for a horrible sentence starter) was responsible for buying an animal for OUR kids (one that represents each kids’ personality) and THEY are supposed to carry on their part of the tradition. I bought Amandya (squirrel girl) a squirrel (go figure), and Adam a wolf. The animals didn’t have to be logical to the nativity… just something that was “right” for each kid. I figured I would end up putting mine on the mantlepiece this year (the first year). Turns out the angel, wolf and squirrel will be making the trip home this year… and I will get to take a picture of the whole set, complete with the extra animals. New traditions are always possible and sometimes the most important ones.

I know that traditions probably mean more to me now than ever because I realize how short life is and how things can change in a heartbeat. This year that has been brought home more than ever, I think…

I look around at the traditions that people have and I realize that everyone has their own. It’s wonderful to learn about everyone’s traditions… to get a glimpse into their lives and see how the treasure each other. And that some people have lost some of theirs. They need new ones more than ever… because it matters. So… if you have them, share them. If you don’t.. make some new ones!!!!

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