Back from the long weekend of Christmas celebrations we are tucked back into our cozy house reliving the love and beauty of the season…
We are back, the house is still freezing cold, the laundry is sorted and piled on the floor, the hunting stuff is strewn about, the new toys (for young and old) are piled up waiting to find new homes in the morning, the children have only recently stopped yelling and requesting water, Piper is shivering on the couch under her blanket and worried we might leave her behind again at any moment, and the cat is doing her best to be on top of everything.
John is updating our yearly Christmas Book (one of the best newlywed gifts ever by the way) and I’m doing my blogging thing while a fire is trying desperately to turn our frigid house cozy.
Despite my dubious enjoyment of our homecoming we did have a great long Christmas weekend filled with traditions.
My Dads side of the family is traditional in their traditions. (Is that possible? Lets say it is.)
First we stuff forty to fifty people into one house.
They all bring food. (Can you get more traditional than that?)
There is traditional food like stuffed Vienna bread. (If this didn’t show up I’m afraid my mother would be forcibly ejected from the house until she went and made some.)
And there is not so traditional food. Aunt Jeanie always brings something interesting and new, this year she made Spanakopita. I’m not sure what it was, there was something green inside and I ate it all anyway. It was good, very good.
The next tradition is that we squish everyone into one spot, ask my very Finnish family to have patience, stand still, and do what someone else tells them to while we take a picture. (HA!)
Miraculously this seems to work every year. The picture taker puts up with a lot of abuse but the picture does get taken. This year cousin Jack took the picture. (He does that now, if you need a picture you should find him. If he can get this family to hold still and smile he can do anything!)
Then then evening turns into a mass of talking, eating, running kids and game playing.
Can you have a tradition of noise? There is a lot of noise.
It used to be the uncles (five of which are my Dads brothers) would play Scrabble and then another group (headed by most of the five in-law aunts) would find the new nosiest game ever (think Pictionary) and see how many dirty looks they could get from the serious Scrabble players. The last few years I haven’t seen a scrabble board but the noisy games have continued. It just goes to show, Scrabble is nice but you just can’t make a tradition out of it like you can screaming answers above the din of a noisy house… or something…
On my Moms side of the family the traditions are older a bit more reserved and to be honest, a few of them are decidedly odder.
We eat things called prick headed monkeys. They are much tastier than they sound and involve no monkeys whatsoever.
This year was the 98th year the Connell family ate a Christmas dinner around the same table. (unless it was more, but we can only say 98 years for sure)
Every year Grandpa hangs his ornament on the tree while telling the story about when he “was just this high” it broke and he fixed it with Micky Mouse bubble gum. (It’s still fixed by the way, Mickey Mouse bubble gum has some incredible staying power.)
We cook a pudding that is only mildly edible, light it on fire and than smother it in something called hard sauce to make it palatable. In the last few years John has been leading the family in singing “Varsity” while the pudding burns.
Finally there is the making of the Christmas cookies. This actually occurs sometime before Christmas, (we are clearly too busy singing and burning things day of) and is an EVENT. Since it is an EVENT it’s getting a posting of it’s own, stay tuned!
I offer no explanation for any of this other than it is – tradition.
Traditions, love em or hate, you just can’t have Christmas without em!
Hope your Christmases were merry and your laundry piles are small!