Monday, December 15, 2008

Family Traditions - Part 1 ... by Karen D.

Every year before the Christmas season can truly begin, there is one thing that MUST happen. My mom and I share a box of chocolate-covered cherries. We savor the ooey-gooey-ness of them and recognize this as the official start of the merriment. By the way, they must be the kind with the white cream surrounding the cherry, not just the liquid. If you enjoy chocolate-covered cherries the way I do, you will understand the importance of this seemingly small detail

This is a small family tradition we enjoy. It takes almost no time, energy, or money, but it is very important. That's the way traditions work. Sometimes they just happen over time and you never really realize when they sneak up on you and become a part of who you are. Other times traditions must be deliberate and intentional. Allow yourself and your family to be overtaken by those surprise traditions but also be willing to be deliberate about others.

In order to get the creative juices flowing, here are a few of our family traditions. May they be a jumping off place for you. Please inspire us with yours also. If it's too long to post in a comment or you have a picture to go with it, email it to


~The Vest Tradition~

I was a teenager helping my mom clean out her closet. I held up a black vest and assumed she was ready to trash it. She refused to throw is out; after all, "It will probably come back in style." In my authentic 1980's lingo, I replied, "Gross me out! This has NEVER been in style, Mom!"

I thought I had seen the last of that hideous black vest with the black-and-tan-checked lining. You can imagine my shock when I opened my first Christmas present of the morning and discovered the black vest neatly folded in the tissue paper. AARGH! We all had a hearty laugh and I quietly tucked the vest away.

Every year the black vest makes an appearance under the Christmas tree. We never know who might open it, but we DO know who has had it. Our tradition is to mark it before passing it to the next victim. Sometimes we add a button, sometimes a pin, simetimes an applique, but always the name and date of the last recipient. We now have a rich history on that black vest. That ugly vest is a beautiful tradition.

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