Saturday, December 3, 2011


This time of year my family tries to create certain experiances that we have had in the past. I don't think anyone ever really determined that they were our family traditions, more like our family expectations. Over the Thanksgiving holidays we had our children from Alaska with us, but the children in Missouri couldn't make it. So in honoring our Alaska visitee's we had Chocolate Pecan Pie. This is family favorite that my daugher Kat always makes, she was here, we had her pie. Amber, who was absent, is perfecting a cranberry jello salad. We couldn't serve it this year because she was missing. Instead we served "cranberry chutney". It's very simple but I will warn you, it makes alot. Chop 1 bag cranberries, 3 apples (peeled and cored), 3 oranges (peeled and separated). Stir together. Add 1 large can of crushed pineapple (drained). Stir. Stir in 2 and 1/2 Cups of sugar. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with hot turkey as a relish. Yum, very tasty.

So at our home on thanksgiving day we have a "tradition" that formed without anyone knowing it was a tradition. After the meal was done and the dishes were cleaned up the family adjourned to the family room where I was asked, "Where is the thanksgiving DVD?" "What DVD?" Evidently in years past I have purchased a current DVD and made it available for viewing after dinner. This is so my entire family can succumb to the post-turkey tryptophan induced coma that they consider the best nap of the year. So does it really matter what DVD I put in? I didn't get the memo and I didn't meet the expectation of my children, there is always next year. Instead we tried to view an old VHS (yes, I still have some) on a newer HD model television, in case you haven't experianced this's blurry.

One tradition I did follow through on though, is without fail every year for as long as I can remember. I forget to wrap some gift and get it under the tree. Christmas morning I am always doing inventory in my head when I realize someone is missing something and have to make a mad dash into the nether regions of my walk-in closet. Since my children from Alaska will not be back for Christmas, we had Christmas 2 days after Thanksgiving and I forgot the chocolate oranges. My bad. This way they got to select which kinds they wanted.

I also can't think of "traditions" without thinking of "The fiddler on the roof". In the little town of Anatevka traditions determine how you sleep, how you eat, how you work and how you wear your clothes. Tevye is asked about the fiddlers on the roof. "And how do we keep our balance?" "That I can tell you in one word... Tradition." So that's the best reason of all to have traditions. To keep your balance. How do you keep your balance during the holiday season?

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