Scattered Traditions

I felt kind of sad the other day. Mrs. Goob has told us that she would be here for Christmas (No, that’s not what made me sad!!! We’re so excited and honored that she’s coming here!). But she asked what traditions we have.

And I became sad because I guess we really don’t have any. We used to go to midnight Mass and come home and eat Mama Bear’s ham and homemade yeast rolls. Then midnight Mass became 10:00 PM, then 8:00…and it just wasn’t the same. Mama Bear passed away, and a lot of the family time went with that. The kids and BR don’t really practice or have a faith anymore, so…it’s just me. Not really enjoyable being at Christmas Mass with all those families and me with just…me.

And I guess all the effin’ crap with having a blended family and dealing with two sets of kids and two sets of exes and trying to get kids to two different states really took away from any set traditions…one year one set of kids would be going to the ex’s before Christmas while the other set was scheduled for after…and the next year that would flip-flop. There were two sets of Christmas expectations, too. One of the first Christmases with our blended family, I asked the kids to write up a Christmas list. Goob asked what the amount was so he would know what to ask for…that really floored me. I grew up not really poor but not with a lot…that kind of demand at Christmas just upset me. The exes were always about the one-upmanship at Christmas, so Christmases really…sucked.

About the only ‘traditions’ I keep up with is an Advent wreath on the table and a Nativity set placed out. But I’m the only one who says any prayers with the blessing of the wreath or at the mealtimes, so again…it kind of sucks.

But it didn’t really hit me until Mrs. Goob asked. I guess I feel responsible, because it’s usually the mother who does all these things, making Christmas Christmas…and I didn’t do them.

But there is one thing I always did…make sure the kids each received an ornament each year. I still need to do that this year. Maybe I’ll do that this week. And then maybe I’ll go put up a tree.

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Maybe we’ll run over to Bellingrath Gardens. I’ve lived nearby all my life, yet have never gone. Maybe this year, with Mrs. Goob. Do my own damn tradition.

13 Responses to “Scattered Traditions”

  1. Rita Says:

    Saddens me to think about your words. I used to absolutely love Christmas. I would decorate for days on end and I would hate it that my mother hated Christmas. I never understood it. But I do now. Too bpmany bad Christmases with too much family drama. Last year was our first year in 21 where there was not some big blow up caused by someone in my husband’s family.

    I almost hate to say it, but we’ve now gone almost two years with things being normal. We’ve come to expect the next big blowup but things have been good. Really good. Medication is a wonderful thing for those that need it. It’s just sad she wasn’t taking it 20 years ago.

    I hope you renew your sense of traditions this year and yeah, start some news ones. I pray you find joy in that. We all need joy at Christmas.

  2. Jess Says:

    Christmas has been a vastly different occasion, since the passing of my father and two brothers. While it used to be a huge festive event, with tons of family, it’s now just a handful – maybe.

    Still, it’s a wonderful day. We gather, count our blessings and relish the moments we have left together. The events of the past are far more than those of the future. Our tradition is that we get together only. That is now enough.

  3. pam Says:

    You’re not alone; I have no traditions. And Mike doesn’t believe… so Christmas can seem sad and even lonely.

    Most years we don’t even put up a tree, so it’s like ‘It’s Christmas!’ or ‘It’s Tuesday!’… same thing. This year, I’m buying a tree because little ones will be here.

    It’s usually the Mother who ‘creates’ Christmas, but it all depends on what is happening, who is where and who is setting fire to what. Metaphorically, of course.

    Well, I lied. I do have a tradition; I watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every year! ;)

  4. Bob Agard Says:

    Have you been to the blog entitled A Holy Experience? Ann Voskamp writes there, and she writes today about Christmas traditions. We are going to try something different this year:

    Wish us luck in getting the kids to “buy in.”

  5. wRitErsbLock Says:

    I hate Christmas.

    We used to make an effort to decorate when my MIL still lived with us, and when we actually saw RTY more than once a month. But now, what’s the point?

    This year, unless we end up having RTY and she suggests it, we’re not wasting time on a tree. And even if she decides she wants one, we’ve decided to just do the small tree.

    We never have her on Christmas Eve. And if we see her at all on Christmas, it’s not until late afternoon. So we’ve never had the ability to set family traditions for her. Which sucks. And it seems like Christmas sucks at her other home, too. I feel bad for her.

    And this year, funds are non-existent. So… I expect it to be another depressing holiday.

  6. Jess Says:

    On a lighter note: I do have one tradition I share with my only surviving brother. We buy a quart of Borden Egg Nog (It has to be Borden’s), break out the bottle of Maker’s Mark, add a little for taste and toast the holiday. After that, we wash down the nasty aftertaste with more bourbon.

  7. Quality Weenie Says:

    I loved Christmas, it usually was the only time of the year the parental units didn’t fight as much.

    But I loved Christmas because my dad loved Christmas. We would decorate both inside and out, it would be the best time of the whole year. Laughing, joking, feeling good about oneself and each other. He played Santa Claus every year for the first 10 years of my life and he still pretended like we believed in Santa after that.

    My hubby on the other hand, I believe was beaten my Santa at some point in his life. I have never seen a person so uninterested in Christmas in any aspect. He acts like it’s a chore. I do all the decorating (putting up and taking down) and have to bug him to even carry the boxes upstairs for me. He thought it heaven when he didn’t have to go shopping for me anymore (we don’t really exchange anymore, just a couple small things)

    It can be so depressing at times

  8. Bou Says:

    Sometimes Christmas isn’t the big things… but the little. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning? Do you have a big meal? Is there one thing you cook, a certain pie or do you experiment? Do you do white lights or color? Do they blink or stay solid?

    It doesn’t have to be big… sometimes its the little things that are the tradition in a household. Do you do stockings? Is there always underwear or socks? Is there a candy someone gets?

    We have a lot of traditions in our home… but they were passed down from my family as well as his. He decorates the outside of our home like his parents did. I wrap each kids’ gift in a color only for them like my Mom did for us.

    We always open stockings first. There is always underwear. And a Moose Munch bar…

  9. caltechgirl Says:

    Maybe this is an opportunity to start new traditions with Mrs. Goob….

  10. Bou Says:

    And I agree with CTG. Just as you had traditions with Mama Bear… maybe you can have traditions with Mrs. G.

  11. Erinyes Says:

    My newest tradition is my family leaves me alone and I leave them alone. SHRUG

  12. Bitterroot Says:

    I took a shot at starting a new tradition a few years ago, but recreating scenes from The Shining didn’t seem to go over very well… (That was a Christmas release, wasn’t it?)

    Oh, well…

  13. Da Goddess Says:

    I love that you’re thinking of starting a new tradition with Mrs Goob!

    I also feel horrible for allowing holiday traditions to fall by the wayside, but I have to remind myself that 1) when I was a nurse, I often worked and that couldn’t be avoided, 2) my family situation was strained for a few years so I didn’t get a say, and 3) that was then, this is now…I don’t have to lament lost memories; I can start making new ones NOW.

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