Traditional chaos

Making traditions is more of a challenge than one might think. I have these ideas, you know, of sitting around a fire stringing popcorn with the MOG and kids, carols playing softly in the background. Gingerbread houses and making gifts for the neighbors…

I think it’s harder for lazy tired people to make traditions, because you have to do them every year. So far, these are some of our traditions.

• Get out the Christmas box on or around December 1st. Put up Dancing Santa. Dancing Santa unplugged and abducted by small people. Realize most of our Christmas stuff is broken, go to dollar store and purchase more. Lament our lack of sentimental/homemade ornaments. Toy with the idea of buying or making clay and handcrafting ornaments with the kids. Get tired.

• Get a tree. Eventually. Put it up crooked. Make plans to straighten it.

• Eggnog! This one we have managed to do every year. High achievers, we.

• Look everywhere for giant mound of Christmas lights, then buy more. Upon opening new boxes, find box with 14 years worth of previously purchased lights.

• Buy outdoor lights. Plan for outdoor decorating. Get tired. Lose lights.

• Spontaneously decide to make Christmas cookies with kids. Initial excitement fades as we realize most of the ingredients are missing. Purchase ingredients. Begin cookie making at dinner time, to the sound of acute emotional crisis in preschoolers. Crisis averted by consumption of large amounts of powdered sugar. Break up fights over cookie cutters. Remember we have 2 of every cookie cutter, because of this. Redistribute wealth. Finish cookies past bedtime, send sugar-high kids to bed and close the door. Try not to wince at the crashing sounds. Eat too many cookies while kids are “sleeping”. (I think we’ve pulled this one off twice, so, tradition.)

• Continually remind myself that these are memories, darn it, and they will recount to their children how I yelled at everyone and threatened not to get them any toys, ever, if they kept waving their spoon in a threatening manner at their sister. Remember, and put on a smile and Mr. Roger’s voice.

This year is so special, with Tristan being here and the “big kids” being so aware of everything going on. I feel so blessed. It’s going to be a very Merry Christmas.

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