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Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Non-Traditional Christmas Tradition :-)

The holidays caught me in a bit of a panic this year. The stress of
all those years, intentionally creating family traditions, only to have the kids grow up, leave home and dare to have a life outside the traditions I created for them.... Well, it's an adjustment. Now, it’s a rare opportunity to have everyone home at the same time for the same holiday. When someone asked me what I was doing for the holidays, I did one of two things. I gave them a blank stare and shrugged my shoulders or I began to cry. I can’t help it, that’s just the way I roll. It’s not that I’m not okay with change; I’m just not sure where I fit into the change and the best way to make the change a happy place for everyone. This year was particularly difficult due to my Mom’s illness in addition to my brother’s injury. Finally, with the help of the kids, we came up with a plan which would include everyone. Christmas Eve day was spent with my parents. I cooked the traditional holiday meal and took it to their house. We had a great time reminiscing about old times. My Dad got out the old photo albums and we took a stroll down memory lane. Gosh, it's been a long time since I've traveled that far. By the end of the afternoon, my Mom was worn out, so we gathered our mess and headed to OKC to spend the night. We went to my Son’s apartment (I call it his hippie pad) and played games with Dad-in-law(he's my Daughter-in-laws Dad0, who was in the states form Afghanistan a few months before heading to Nigeria where he will be assigned for the next few years. It was nice to have a new addition to the family with stories we haven't heard and adventures that rival my Daughter's military travel. We had the opportunity to meet some of the families that live in the building with my Son. My daughter was mortified after she accidentally outed Santa Clause to a room full of small children, breaking the cardinal rule at our house to never, ever admit Santa isn’t real. As soon as the words were out of her mouth, her face filled with horror. Everyone, including my daughter-in-law assured her the Santa myth was not one that was revered or even acknowledged in the Refuge where the minimalist lifestyle reigns supreme, but still she felt horrible, probably because admitting it, makes it just that much more real in her own eyes. When we got back to the apartment, she told her brother what she had done and he just laughed; then he shattered the dreams her and I had about the Christmas fun we would have when his wee ones came along (if ever they do)…. “You’re not going to let your kids believe in Santa Clause?!” she shouted….. “No, I think will choose NOT to lie to our children” He said with a smirk. Of all three of the kids, he celebrated the myth of Santa Clause with the most gusto unless it included sitting on Santa's lap.  He spied and tried to hide to find the jolly old man in the act of bringing Christmas joy to our house every year and he darn near caught the old Coot a time or two. I still miss the sound of his little feet running downstairs in the wee hours of the morning to see what Santa had brought. Christmas day we woke and my daughter began putting together the Christmas meal and I was happy to sit back and let her. After lunch we
slouched around like 6 Java the Huts on Star Wars.  My daughter and I were tickled pink to find we had a gift from our Dad-in-law. He brought us each exotic silk scarves from his travels to India…. Man, that guy gets around! We left OKC and dropped by my brother’s on the way home. A couple of months ago, he shattered his leg in 20 pieces. That’s my brother…. Go big or go home, so home he has been since the accident. When we got in the car to come home, I told my husband that I had used my allotted words for the next several months. I conversed more in the last two days than I did collectively in the last two years. We got home totally worn out, but with the peaceful feeling I had covered all the bases, and although it wasn’t a typical traditional Christmas, it was probably one of the best Christmas’ ever.

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