Mermaids Manic Mondays... Week three...
Family traditions... Every family has them even if they do not always take the time to identify them. I feel they are important. A type of glue if you like. They give you something to look forward to and anticipate. They start off as simple as colouring eggs at Easter. Making gingerbread houses at Christmas. Exchanging platters of homemade cookies and bars. As gardeners we often will exchange seedlings in the spring. We all know someone who grows the strongest healthiest vegetable starts and exchange back and forth among neighbors or gardening club friends so that we do not all have to start everything. Some of us continue to grow different vegetables and then share the bounty with each other.
As a single mom. Money was always an issue. Yet it wasn't! If you look around your home towns you can always find things to do that takes little or no money to enjoy.
We made homemade gingerbread houses. Something the girls still do. Now a days you can find some pretty neat kits if your time or talent doesn't allow for actually making one from your own recipe and design.
There was one year while living over in Germany where I made and sold twenty some odd Gingerbread houses and decorated them with the help of the girls. I have to say our house smelled wonderfully. We got pretty creative. We made the roof hinge so that you could store Christmas candy inside.
Thanksgiving growing up was always a huge feast. It was never just my parents and two brothers. We usually had other people who would of been on their own joining us and the count was often into the twenty's. A home grown turkey and ham would both be cooked. Dinner would be around 1:30. Time would be allowed for the turkey coma to subside before mountains of freshly homemade whipped cream covered pies would make their debut. Thanksgiving for me growing up was the Canadian one so around the 11th. Weather permitting I would of been out riding and enjoying the crisp clear blue Sky's or an Indian summer breeze off the lake. For some of the family's it was also the time of year when the cattle would be rounded up and brought back into the farms from the range land.
Around here something called "Deer camp" happens.. Ladies get together and have slumber parties while the men folk or to be politically correct the "hunters" are off hunting.
I love to make the gingerbread and cinnamon smelling decorations that takes equal parts of cinnamon and applesauce and can be decorated with gold glitter pens or how ever you wish.
Another tradition for me was to start something called Rumtopft Its soft fruits as they come into season layered in a big glass container and covered with rum. They spend the summer fermenting with sprinklings of sugar added. That will be divided into jars and given to friends. You either just scoop it out and enjoy sipping on the rum and munching on the fruit or you can ladle it over ice cream or cake!
We tried hard to make it not about the money but more about spending time together doing things, going places such as community free Christmas light shows. Ice skating, Craft festivals and a big thing was to be able to go to a Christmas theater production. Now a days we are very spread out and the oldest daughter has developed the tradition of going snowboarding on Christmas day.
Decorating is a huge tradition for a lot of family's. They have exactly what they want and where they want it all mapped out. Going and finding the perfect tree by horse back with my dad during the summer was a favorite thing but we never seemed to be able to find the tree once they were laden with snow! I do remember the first year the girls and I moved back from Europe and we went and picked out a tree growing on my fathers farm and drug it in. How wonderfully it smelled. Decorating the tree has different memories for all of us. My mother was a real stickler for having all the decorations evenly spaced and the icicles laid one strand at a time over every little finger of every bough starting from the inside and working out creating the perfect layer of shimmer and beauty... not a strand out of place! It is something I still love to do. Now living in Michigan I try to go to the Fredrick Meijers sculpture garden Christmas tree display. Last year I was invited to join the Rotary International exchange students when they went out to the tree farm to pick out a tree and then decorate it.
I love all the preparation of baking all the goodies. However, with the girls gone. They are not here to eat them. I do not need it. Bear doesn't eat anything sweet! This year I'm hosting a cookie exchange. I will just keep enough for visitors and the rest will be given away.
So what are some of your traditions. What do you look forward to every year? Maybe its time to think of some new traditions because your family dynamics has drastically changed. Its never too late to start. Go ahead what are you waiting for. Even if you live on your own and especially if you are on your own. Then its time to think of something you would enjoy doing especially with the Christmas Holidays coming up. Something to get you outside and put a smile on your face.
I started a new Christmas hanging.. found two Christmas projects I haven't quite finished and lengthen two pairs of pants. I also found three quilt projects that have the fabric already selected and boxed to start quilting.
How was your weekend... Now its time for you to share..
what are you waiting for...
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