“’What is your favorite Christmas tradition?”
It was an icebreaker question for my tablemates at Bible study. First off, getting-to-know you questions are dumb. We are women, nurturers at heart, compatible beings, user-friendly and capable of carrying on a conversation. With or without cause. We have words and know how to use them.
Secondly, I don’t have a favorite Christmas tradition. My mom did. When you got any clothes for Christmas, you couldn’t wear them until after the New Year. Where she came up with this I don’t know.
After I got married, this went out the window. With gusto.
As far as Christmas shopping is concerned, my husband is not prone to buy clothes. Many Christmases ago, as I shopped for others, I kept seeing things I’d like for myself.
When my husband returned home from work I told him, “You have some clothes on hold at the store. Pick through them and surprise me for Christmas.”
He did. I got them all-and amazingly they all were the right size. Not all husbands can do that.
When I was a child, Aunt Jane had the tradition of hiding a really large gift for me behind the chair. I caught on quickly. Christmas Eve always found me peeking at it.
Apparently I did have one tradition albeit unintentional. It seems every Thanksgiving for too many years I clogged the garbage disposal with potato peels.
“Mom, again? You do this every year.”
“Yes, it happened last year too. Don’t you remember?”
“Um, no. That was last year.”
But I’ve learned. Now I make instant potatoes. Problem solved.
Grandma Andrews had the tradition of baking fruitcakes for everyone in the family. I grew up with them, but my little family didn’t share the love. It was mine, all mine.
Grandma died, but Aunt Jane carried on her tradition. It wasn’t until my aunt passed away that I had access to their recipe collection. I was shocked that neither of them followed the recipe. Both these women were sticklers for doing things by the book. While I haven’t made a fruitcake yet, if I did, I’d modify it too. It’s what I do. Then wonder why it didn’t turn out good.
One would think I would learn from my mistakes, especially in the cooking department. But why change a perfectly good tradition?