formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Tradition Condition...

In my Thanksgiving post, I mentioned that I don't like Christmas. I don't. I'm a Grinch. I admit it. I'm that way for loads of reasons but don't worry, I won't bore you with all of them. I will say, however, that part of my Scroogieness is about the lack of holiday traditions in my life. My family used to observe a few but after my dad died, they were all pretty much forgotten. When Ryan was small, I tried to implement a couple for her sake. But then my marriage ended... and they were pretty much forgotten, too. So we have none.

The thing is, even though I'd be happy to completely forego Christmas every year, I feel kind of terrible that Ryan is missing out. I loved Christmas as a kid... it was a magical time... and I'd like her to love it, too, but not just for the presents. But I don't know what to do... where to start... how to re-discover the magic.

What traditions do you observe? Is there any gotta-do-it-every-year thing you do (preferably one that doesn't involve church or big family get-togethers... or the untangling of Christmas lights... or the buying of expensive gifts... or some ethnicity of which I am not a part)... anything at all you might be willing to share? Do tell...

15 comments:

Mel said...

You know all of mine, so I'm no help. But, I feel bad if I don't write you a little note in your comment section, so there.

Jenners said...

Here are two that we do that are kind of fun and general.

1. Whenever we travel anywhere during the year, we look for a Christmas ornament to take home. When we put up the tree, we look at the all ornaments we've collected and remember where we got them. It makes the tree more personal and brings back (hopefully) good memories.

2. Once a week at night, we drive around nearby neighborhoods to look at the lights and decorations that people have put up. We are particularly looking for the "insane" Christmas houses that go totally overboard.

Hope this helps!

Heinous said...

If my son helps with the Christmas lights, he can learn exciting, new words from me.

I guess we'll stick with just visiting family.

Maithri said...

Theres a soup van in our town which takes soup and sandwhiches and blankets to the homeless, I try and go with them at least once a year... thanks for remindin me that i need to get out there again ;)

Lots of love, M

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Red wine with red meat.
Red wine with white meat.
Red wine with vegie burgers.
Red wine with salted peanuts.
Red wine with cheese.
Red wine with fish.
Red wine with pretzels.

That and 'never mix your drinks'.

thailandchani said...

I'm totally with you on Christmas! Probably for very similar reasons to yours.

I'm trying to think of any traditions that are more widespread that don't involve gifts, ethnicity or anything of that nature.. and can't. Most of my organized celebrations are from Thai culture. But... before I found that, I used to make a lot of my own traditions.

A few friends from long ago used to use birthdays for a big celebration.

Maithri's idea is a good one. Or perhaps a nature walk at the same time each year... or a trip somewhere special that you enjoy?


~*

Lee said...

Can I have that question on notice? Another blogger asked me about how (or if) an atheist celebrates Xmas, Easter etc, and I will combine both of you into one answer.

HLiza said...

I don't celebrate Christmas here..but one thing Malaysian Christians have here is stuffed turkey on their Christmas dinner. I drool over them for so long..one day I'll gather all my family members so that we can buy one ready made and feast upon it.

Oops sorry I'm of no help.

Protege said...

Diane, I am a Christmas freak. You would have to look long and with a flashlight to find one such as me. Today I got up at 5am to make sure the house was clean and all decorated from the basement to the attic as in one hour I am expecting guest. We will go for a traditional "xmas tree cutting", this always happens on the last weekend on November. Then we will have a traditional hot-spicy red vine with a Danish Christmas snack.:) I can list zillions more things I do frantically (and with great joy!) every year, but you might get Christmas overdose.;)) One year you will a have to come and spend the holidays with me and I will change your mind.:))

Diane said...

Mel... it's cool. And PS, I'm not getting you that pretty boy for Christmas. Sorry.

Jenners... I actually do (often) buy Christmas tree ornaments when I go places. I don't like the holiday much, but I do like some of the decorations :). The light-drive is a good idea - thanks!

Jim... yeah, that's how Ryan has learned all her new, exciting words. Can I visit your family this year?

Maithri... that's a great idea. There is a place here that does the soup kitchen every week and I've been meaning to see about helping out. Thanks for reminding ME!

JCosmo... I 'celebrate' like that every week... screw Christmas!

Chani... I like the nature walk. I have actually planned some sort of Winter Solstice celebration and will incorporate that into it!

Lee... I'll go to your site to see your answer.

HLiza... LOL... it's OK. I know lots of people who drool over turkey.

Zuz... I'll take you up on that invitation one Christmas... mark my word!

Ronda's Rants said...

Traditions are just things that you do over and over and that are meaningful to your family; when they are done correctly they invoke good feelings, not guilt!
We are spiritual but I understand that you are not.
So...I would choose things that you and Ryan really enjoy doing together this time of year and try to involve all of her senses. This will bring about good memories for her...long after you are gone.
Music...is there a musical from a school nearby that plays around this time of year...secular holiday music. I would have her pick a volunteer opportunity for others and you both do it together. Our families love to see movies...both at home and in the theater.
Special foods...just for this time of year.
I know she loves to read...always buy her a special book this time of year.
Ice skating...Not for me...but maybe that is soemthing you and Rayn would like to do every year at Christmas season.
I know it must be hard...I am a Christian and I feel it is all consuming...and it has become so commercialized! But, for my family...it is the simplest things we hold dear...
If money is no object...every year
My Hubby and I would go on a cruise!!!

Mama Wheaton said...

Christmas has lost a lot of its charm for me as well. We have gone years without celebrating Christmas and instead volunteered somewhere else.

Sam_I_am said...

I always do the Salvation Army gifts for Children. A lot of people have asked me why I continue to do it, since I'm working 2 jobs to pay for my wedding. I tell them, "No matter how little I have, there is always someone who has less than me." Other than that, it's the standard, go to my mom's, go to his mom's, go to his pap-pap's, come home. Give the pets their stockings.

Diane said...

Ronda... thanks for the suggestions!! Yes, I know what you mean about going away... we'd spend Christmas in London every year if I could afford it!

Mama Wheaton... I like the idea of volunteering.

Sam... I do the 'Angel Tree' gift thing, too, as I feel the same way you do. Ryan picks out the gift. So I guess we do have a tradition of sorts :)

Heather said...

You already read about our Christmas tradition; the TSO concerts. I'm also a Christmas special freak. You know, Frosty the Snowman, Charlie Brown Christmas... I have to watch them EVERY year. (Even on the scroogie years.)
Hope you can find something to make it special. :)