Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Family Traditions

I just read another good article on Dumb Little Man about holiday traditions and how they should help bring a family together. Made me think about the up coming holiday and how in the past I have just made myself a nervous wreck trying to make it all perfect for the kids.

Remind me of this if I bring this one up again- IT NEVER WORKS!!

It is never PERFECT. And why should it be? We have lots of traditions and things that we love to do together but why do I put this pressure on myself? Well this year, because I am ill, I will not do it! I will kick back and enjoy the holidays-the music, the great food, the camaraderie of friends and family. And then, I will let it be! Sorry to break into a Beatle tune there, but I just have to change my ways at this late date!

I think part of my craziness at Christmas comes from my poor, dear father. He was really a very sociable man but his alcoholism got in the way. He always freaked out big time at both Christmas and Easter-traditionally holidays that the whole family got together for huge meals. I think his disappointment with his own mother got the best of him at that time and he just couldn't forgive her-hence the large amount of drink at the the holidays. To this day, brandy smells like Christmas to me!

One of the suggestions in the DLM article is White Elephant Gift Grab. This idea works especially well for large families where buying presents for everyone becomes a real financial burden. Scrap the new gifts and instead have everyone wrap an item from home that they no longer use, but which would have value for someone else. At the family gathering, have each member pick a number from a hat to set the order of gift picking. Each person gets a chance to pick from the pile of wrapped presents. As each person opens their gift, if they like another gift that has already been opened they can force a swap for the gift they like better. In this way, it is best to be the last person to pick from the gift pile. You could do this just for the adults or for the kids too. Feel free to modify the rules for your family. The emphasis should be on some family fun, and not so much on the presents received.

I have done this at parties and it is a gas! I think I am going to suggest this to everyone at Mom's this year. One of my nephews always gives Mom gag gifts anyhow. One year it was a gift set of Preparation H! That was good for a laugh and might be fun to swap!!

Talk to you soon,
Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.
- Will Rogers

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