Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What I know about tradition.

Thanks to my fortnightly linkup with the clever Sarah from thatspaceinbetween, I'm moving on from curries and crazy Indian driver stories and reflecting a little about traditions and rituals.

And Sister, you have full power to counter anything I've forgotten or embellished from our childhood.

Our family wasn't big on tradition.

The sister and I had birthdays 3 years apart to a day within each other.  Our birthday ritual was us being allowed to choose a meal which meant we had 2 nights in a row of "nice" meals (apart perhaps from the year when my chosen meal was sausages and curry sauce, and the sister's the next night was  sausages and brown onion sauce, back to back sausage fiestas!).  The Sister who had godparents, always got one extra present than me.  And the lovely childless couple that were her godparents, always lavished her with a doozy of a gift.  So I guess that was a tradition, I always got one less present than The Sister.

Easter was a cake of Cadbury chocolate.  Easter eggs don't feature prominently in my memory banks, just a cake of chocolate, which like Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, we would nibble on for days to try and make it last.

And Christmas, well, I think as we got older, we tried forcing Christmas on our family.  I can remember buying a tree once, a teeny one that Dad eventually planted in the garden.  We do have some nice christmas memories but maybe that has more to do with the volume of alcohol consumed by the adults by mid afternoon than a joyous coming together as a family.  Just saying.

And I decided early in my life as an adult not to head down that path, although strayed dangerously near for a few years when my former partner who was a doctor worked back to back Christmas days and for 2 years my christmas day consisted of a run and peanut butter on toast.
As a Mum, we started with a hiss and a roar with my baby boy treated to a full family, fully festive shindigs. Until the year we headed away on christmas day to a beach house, where as we started up the bbq for christmas dinner, my little boy complained "this is like every dinner - it's not even christmas'y".  And as I drove to a petrol station to find something festive to add to our table, a lightbulb went off. I wasn't even close to winning.

And so with a blank piece of paper, I started to create traditions.  For my family.

So I could regale you now with all the things I have introduced to our little family for times of celebration, although truth be told, sometimes I'm better at thinking up the ideas than delivering them.  But we do have "things" that are ours and that the kids look forward to and that I passionately reinforce to them that when Dad and I are old we want to look back on the Christmas book or the Fathers Day letters, or look at my bowl of Mothers Day shells, and remember when they were little fellas.  And that they can do the same with their kids.

Because it's never too late to start a tradition.

They all start somewhere.

What are your favourite traditions?  Are they new ones or oldies?


  1. Just saying...thanks for the honesty. Also you poor thing, what must you have been thinking on the way to the petrol station; brutally honest kids - love them

  2. Thanks Rory - the honesty of kids is what keep me honest at times! And I managed to find some packaged chocolate eclair cases and a bottle of cream at the servo, we went crazy and the four year old was happy! Thanks for stopping by!