Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tweaking Traditions......

     Traditions are those events that give us stability. If your Christmas isn't getting off to a great start, all you need is one successful tradition to set it right - say, drinking Eggnog while watching Charlie Brown's Christmas. Sometimes we become blinded by the structure, not realizing that something is really in need of change. For us this year there are two - first is, the tree.
      The years of children forcing ornaments by their loops onto its already aged artificial branches have yielded to what look like pipe cleaners sticking out of any branch three feet and lower. The boys are growing up and it was time to start the "go get the tree" tradition. ie:drive forty-five minutes, tromp through knee deep snow and saw down the nearest best looking pine with a straight trunk.
     I am very excited to have this tradition get started with the boys. So much more fulfilling than "get the tree out of the basement and spend three hours straightening it and THEN be jolly while decorating it." After all - we do live in Montana and should take advantage of its bounty.

Yes, perfect shape from a distance, but....

the "getting" of the tree is the important part!

The second - gift placement. Kids can't help it, they want to shake and count every gift and then compare who got more, who is sure they got the remote control Hummer, etc. In an effort to avoid that and to prevent the cat from tearing off all the paper I started "The Shelf"
And of course, they got binoculars to check tags!

This year the kids and cat are old enough (I think) to handle having gifts actually under the tree to be mauled, shaken, counted, etc. Still a little intervention is needed. I have created the....
.....Numbered Gift Tag tradition!  You bet: count and shake away kids. Assigning a number instead of the actual name will ensure no pouting before Christmas or disappointment in not seeing a certain shape of gift under there for them. There will be equality on Christmas morning!

What traditions have you tweaked?


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