APPLE SEEDS ~ Torch of Tradition
In my first blog, back in March of 2016, I mentioned that “apple seeds”, to me, represent the beginning of things you should ingest every day. Nuggets of things that make you smile, laugh out loud, or just sit and ponder.
My last blog, posted in October, was inspired by the path a conservation can take if shared by people who enjoy debate or simply the meandering diversity as one leaps from topic to topic.Having not written a word in almost three months, I realize that creativity can be a fickle companion, whose departure is usually from the dark side of the street, unexplained but missed.
In my attempt to revive my truant mate, on this 12th night of Christmas, I looked for inspiration from my holiday experience, steeped with family traditions.
Tradition, by definition is “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation…”
In the changing landscape of family responsibilities, jobs and geography, traditions can be difficult to maintain, in spite of best efforts.
Meant to inspire warm memories that set the stage for a positive experience, but if it doesn’t quite work out, those traditions or failure to execute them, can create the opposite effect. It can be difficult to accept that sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Where your holiday decorations are placed in the house seem to have a tradition of their own. Wreaths go on specific doors. Red runner on the piano, green one on the sideboard. That Santa (or an elf) goes on that shelf. Why? Because it always has.
In a much appreciated effort to surprise us and help out, my daughter, while we were out of town, spent the weekend painstakingly adding the Christmas ambiance to our home decor.
Using her own creativity, some old favourites ended up in places that they had never been before. I resisted the overwhelming temptation to restore the order of things, and was shocked at how quickly I got over it and began to enjoy the finished product.
The coloured lights on our big evergreen traditionally add a sense of wonder and awe as you crest the hill near our home. We decided a long time ago it is too difficult to take the lights off year after year. We just “fix them up” for the holidays.This year, excited to be the provider of that ‘first glimpse’, my daughter and her well-meaning friend set the tree on fire. (a small fire due to an electrical issue and reportedly quickly extinguished using the proper equipment and technique). The tree was not lit, and Christmas was not ruined.
Watching Christmas “cheese” is a much anticipated tradition, as I believe there is no such thing as a bad Christmas movie. Yep, ‘Battle of the Bulbs, Holiday in Handcuffs , and The Santa Suit (thanks to Kevin Sorbo who made the leap from Hercules to Santa without missing a beat) get as much playtime as White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street (and I am not embarrassed to admit it).
I missed our traditional viewing of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. Fortuitously, we received the DVD as a gift and plan on watching it in July.
With the traditional hot chocolate in hand, Our Christmas tree is adorned with old and new favourites. (New tradition – add coconut rum to create enjoyable adult beverage) The homemade childhood ornaments find a place of honour, and always illicit the half-hearted, “Do you have to put that up?”
I truly believe that disappointment would ensue if the response was something other than “But I love it, I remember when …”
Attending Christmas Eve service is definitely a tradition; however, the subsequent cheese and chocolate fondue is barely one, since it began with my parents when my sisters and I were, for the most part, grown up (in age, not temperament as those closest to me would argue).
In the early years, we enjoyed fondue at its finest and most complicated, but time constraints forced a simpler and easier version – still scrumptious thanks to President’s Choice.
Traditional menu items find their way to the table on holidays only. I never seem to make that broccoli salad or sweet potato casserole any other time. (Maybe because I don’t know how to prepare it to only serve four) Shortbread – Come on - it’s not just for Christmas anymore.
My first-generation tradition is to never shop on Boxing Day. I and any sharing my space, traditionally, remain clothed in leisure wear, (yep, I mean pajamas) whiling away the day playing games, eating snacks and leftovers, enjoying every moment.I commiserate with all those in retail, my daughter being among them, as they steeled themselves for the early morning onslaught.
My oldest daughter, in her quest for her first job several years ago, applied for a seasonal position at a retail business in the Mall. As some might recall, in the early days of Boxing Day store openings, workers were to volunteer. You could not force an employee to work on Boxing Day. That didn’t last long.
I am convinced that when my daughter told the store manager that “my Mom doesn’t believe in Boxing Day shopping, and won’t let me come to the mall” her resume went directly to the waste bin.
Oddly satisfying to my soapbox sensibilities, I discovered a petition to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day. Okay, it is in the UK, but has gained more than 230,000 signatures.
The petition calls for the end of commercialization of Christmas and allow retail workers to spend time with their loved ones. The petition is to be sent to British Prime Minister Theresa May, who will decide if it will be debated in Parliament.
Although unlikely to pass due to shopping’s overwhelming popularity, the fact it exists warms the cockles of my heart. (The saying could be inspired by cockles/mollusks opening when exposed to heat in case you were wondering – I love Google)
Who knows – perhaps my first-generation tradition might inspire the same here in Canada. I can dream, can’t I?
I hope that my children, when the time comes for the tradition torch to be passed, will hold it high and proud. And if tweaking those beloved customs is required to keep it interesting, relevant and still burning brightly, so-be-it.
[Trailer] Holiday In Handcuffs
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