Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Twisting Traditions


On this final week of Jingle Bell Rockin' I will give a download of a book of the winners choice.

I guess every family has certain ways they 'do things' over the holidays and we are no different. Mr. Regina and I have been married for 28 years and we long ago decided to do our best to merge traditions from each of our families plus add a few of our own little twists.

Over the years, I've learned though, to be flexible because situations change, kids grow up. So far, both of our children are single and nowhere near the stage of beginning their own families so things haven't gotten TOO crazy. Normally, we have a nice Christmas Eve buffet. Lots of Christmas music and good food. Over the years, our kids open one 'teaser' gift...usually new pjs. Then on Christmas morning, we stagger out of bed and open our gifts. By the time lunchtime rolls around, we have a more formal dinner and then more gift opening with the grandmothers. This year was a bit different. At first, I was really stressed that things wouldn't always be as they'd been before. I freely admit it rocked me a little bit and made me realize that many traditions can be broken or changed by the simplest thing. Life evolves, changes, and I reckon we need to be a bit more flexible.

My son informed us (when he missed Thanksgiving this year) that despite working Thanksgiving, he'd also be working most of Christmas Day. Of course, we weren't going to celebrate Christmas without him. No way! I realized, though it messed with my normally well-ordered life, that we'd have to twist our traditions around a bit to accomodate him. We did our regular Christmas Eve thing (though it was much quieter without him) and on Christmas Day, we puttered around the house baking cakes and putting together various dishes for an 'evening dinner' instead of a noon one. So when my son arrived on Christmas night, we had our dinner and opened gifts. I'd thought it would feel funny doing everything differently but in a way it was cool trying something new. Guess life CAN teach an old dog new tricks, huh? One day, our kids will have families of their own and other obligations and I figure that'll require even more flexibility. We'll get used to it. We'll adjust.

Now we're sitting back waiting for the end of 2010 and the hope of a wonderful 2011. This year hasn't been a great one for our little family. Lots of struggles will terrible illnesses, lots of worries, doctors, and many many sleepless nights. We are ending this one knowing the worst is behind us. We'll spend our New Year at home as we usually do. My honey will pick up a bottle of bubbly and we'll watch the ball drop, listen to some pretty bad music on the Rockin' New Years Eve thing on tv. We seldom overindulge or 'party hearty' because, shoot, who wants to spend the first day of a brand new year hung over? Yeesh! I will plant my butt in front of my computer and write a bit too. Like many of you, I like to start things off doing what I love most. It will be lots and lots of football on New Year's Day plus black-eyed peas, homemade cornbread and ham for luck. Maybe we'll catch a nap or two.

New Years Resolutions? I seldom make them because life often throws us those little curveballs that make them impossible. So as with our Christmas plans, we will be flexible next year and take things as they come. Nothing wrong with that.

35 comments:

Tess MacKall said...

Hmmm...our day changed up a bit this year too, Reg. We had a late afternoon meal rather than lunch. Two of my peeps were feeling poorly so rather than me being so frenzied and trying to get everything on the table by one, we all finally sat down about four thirty.

Change is good. My girls both stayed home this Christmas due to weather concerns. But last Christmas they were here for the bounty and then gone with the wind. Next year? No bounty. They are old enough that they won't get loads of stuff under the tree anymore. I've declared a halt to Christmas spending mania. YEAH. Change is good. lol

Glad you had such a great Christmas. And so looking forward to spending another year with you, girlie. And really looking forward to October and giving you a big big HUG. lol HAPPY NEW YEAR, SWEETIE. Hugs and love.

V. J. Devereaux aka Valerie Douglas said...

Both my BH and I sort of take a low key approach to the holidays. The only thing that gets decorated is me (I have three different kinds of decorated 'antlers' that I wear everywhere). With his son living with his fiancée and their baby and his daughter going to her fiancé's parents most years, we decided to be the flexible ones.
I had spent a previous marriage being dragged back 'home' and forced into eating several holiday meals to satisfy various relatives. Never again! And we all know of people who scramble every holiday to make sure that both sets of 'moms' and 'dads' don't feel abandoned or affronted.
This year we did a breakfast brunch with steak and scrambled eggs, potatoes, pancakes (some chocolate chip filled) and mimosas. Gifts were passed around as people arrived and got settled. Everyone had a great time. Next year... something different...

Natalie Dae said...

Sounds like change was fun this year, Reg. COOL!

LOL @ V.J.'s antlers. Funny stuff.

:o)

Madison Scott said...

It so hard when people have to work on the holidays. My mom does some times too. Have to be flexible.

Regina Carlysle said...

You know, Tess, I was a little stressed about changing things up but I kind of LIKED the way things turned out. I'm glad the girls were home for Christmas this year. From your post yesterday, sounds like ya'll had a fun time.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh and Tess? I have soooo loved being tight with you and Natalie this year. Next year will be even BETTER! You two are just awesome friends.

Regina Carlysle said...

VJ, I think you have the right idea. We work soooo hard trying to please everyone else that NOTHING is fun. Love the idea of the antlers! Yesterday we took down the tree and I put away all the Christmas FOO FOO and thought WHY DO I DO THIS????

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh yeah, the change was pretty nice, Nat. From now on, I plan to go with the flow. As long as everyone is smiling and there's plenty of good food what is there to worry about?

Regina Carlysle said...

I know Madison. Some people just HAVE to work so the only thing to do with plan around that stuff.

Amber Skyze said...

Nothing wrong with that Regina. My 2011 be blessed with much happiness.

anny cook said...

Ah, I think our tradition for years has been to roll with the flow. Don't remember two years in a row that have been close to the same.

This year it was "just us" (hunk and me). We don't exchange gifts. We slept late, cooked what we wanted, ate when we wanted...

Uh, not bad, actually.

flchen1 said...

You know, we ended up changing this up this year, too--my FiL passed away a couple months ago, and making some changes to our celebrations helped us move forward a bit without making everyone too sad.

Glad you were able to enjoy some good new changes! Boy, can't believe it's almost time for the new year!

Harlie Reader said...

My hubby and I are childless for the first time for New Year's and besides the obvious - wink -, we don't have plans. Its just nice being together without the kids.

Chris R said...

Your children will bless you that you are so flexible. Our kids are older with one in a relationship. He gets dragged to our things since his family doesn't celebrate xmas. We visited my parents for lunch and half of hubby's family for dinner..with the other half of hubby's family complaining that we didn't make the 10 hour trip to visit them (in another state!) Family. Enjoy them because you sure can't pick 'em.

Cathy M said...

We had to tweak our Christmas celebrations a bit too, when both of our son's worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So we just picked a day during Christmas week when they could both come, along with their girlfriends. We had a blast visiting, eating and laughing. It truly wasn't about the date on the calendar it was all of us together enjoying the spirit of the holiday.

Celebrating early actually made for an enjoyable Christmas Day for my hubby and I. No big dinner to cook or house to clean. We just hunkered down together and watched movies. It made for a wonderfully relaxing togetherness time.

Happy New Year Everyone!

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Our Christmas was low key this year with the stress being on having the family over and spending quality time together. We had lots of good food and good fellowship catching up with everyone's news.

Valerie
in Germany

wendy said...

I spent Christmas with my twin girls it was nice and there was only one small change in mine no husband there and for New Years I will be reading books I love to read and talking to you ladies.

I hope everybody has a Happy New Year

Harlie Reader said...

We were celebrating Christmas Eve with the inlaws and one of cousin in law's had to be rushed to the hospital. She's fine but the blood clots that passed were not fine. Needless to say, the party stopped but no one cared. Even the kids........our concern was Laura and her family.

New Year's Eve will be very quiet with hubby. No kids, so the possibilities are endless. wink, wink

Brindle Chase said...

28 years!!!! WoW... that is awesome!!! Congrats!!!

Regina Carlysle said...

Hope next year is wonderful for you and yours too, Amber!

Regina Carlysle said...

Rolling with the flow is definitely easiest, Anny. Glad you and the hunk had a 'restful' day!

Regina Carlysle said...

flchen honey, I'm so sorry for your loss and you know, I think it's a good idea to change things up some. So many deal with loss and memories during these times.

Regina Carlysle said...

Harlie, it sounds pretty darn NICE!

Regina Carlysle said...

Hi Chris! I know what you mean about 'family'. Ours (our immediate)is verrrry small but I have extended family I haven't seen in years. That's okay. lol

Regina Carlysle said...

You know, Cathy M, someone said just last night that the day doesn't matter. It's finding a time (any time) when you can all be together.

Regina Carlysle said...

Ahhh, that sounds nice Valerie!

Regina Carlysle said...

Twin girls, Wendy? Wow...talk about busy busy! Yes, we SHOULD get together on NY and chat. I would love that. We have no special plans but to eat and watch football.

Regina Carlysle said...

Yep, 28 years with my husband and two kids along the way. We are really fortunate to be together so long. He had cancer this year and it was so damn scary, let me tell you. The thought of losing him made me appreciate every single day. So this holiday season I spent some time on my knees being thankful that we beat this.

Jen B. said...

I have had to learn to be flexible in recent years. My kids want to help decorate. My brother now lives in another state. My sister and her family no longer come here to visit. And we just decided that next year we will host Christmas dinner. The only tradition that remains the same is that we all touch base somehow.

Janice said...

Nope, nothing wrong with that at all.

Zina said...

Yep Regina.
Denny couldn't come home for his 6 days of leave until the 27th but with delays it turned into today the 28th before he made it home, so we saved some gifts and had no christmas dinner like usuall although I'll try to cook the ham tomorrow or the next day or maybe the next. Yes must be flexable.
Zina

Regina Carlysle said...

Jen, that sounds like a good decision. We did something similar many years ago and never looked back.

Regina Carlysle said...

I understand that, Zina! I would have done the same as you. Mainly you are together and that counts most.

Regina Carlysle said...

I don't think so either, Janice. I worried it wouldn't be 'the same' and it wasn't but it wasn't BAD either. Kind of nice actually.

C. Zampa said...

Sounds like the change didn't affect your family having a good time! That's wonderful!

Our Christmas was no different this year than usual, as far as where and when---but it was our first where, with serious illness, we made a united effort to focus on the holiday spirit itself and not gifts.

Here's wishing that 2011 is better for us all!

Enjoy your bubbly, black-eyed peas and---yum---cornbread and ham!

Happy New Year!