It’s Tradition, Damn It

Is it just me or is the week before Christmas pretty much a throw away?  Everyone has checked out at this point.

Since we can’t seem to concentrate on work, school has nothing but been various crafts and some reading.

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The big craft day was spent making gingerbread houses.  This year I ordered the kits from King Arthur Flour, and I am pretty happy that I did.  Usually we just grab the kits from WalMart or Michael’s, but they honestly taste pretty bad.  Like dog – food bad.  We have fun assembling them, but then they sit there for a month until I finally throw them away.

This year’s kits were much tastier and came with better candy.

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In the evening afterwards we packed into the car – as our tradition dictates – and drove around looking at the christmas lights.

Doesn’t it sound idyllic and warm and cozy and sweet?

It wasn’t.

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It was more of an exercise in extreme parenting.  Oona was entertained for all of 20 minutes, and then she and Neve took turns hitting and pinching each other, crying, whining and complaining “But it’s HER fault!”

You want to know the other part?  This is how it is every year.  EVERY. DAMN. YEAR.

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Yet we do it anyway.  We even look forward to it, naively believing that this year will finally be better.

It’s a tradition, and darn it one day they will be thankful we suffered through it every year.  One year I brought hot cocoa and homemade white chocolate – mint popcorn for everyone but they ended up spilling the cocoa, needing to pee every 5 minutes and only 2 of us liked the popcorn.

We don’t do that anymore.

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I was seriously starting to get a good holiday cheer going – really getting into the spirit at first.

By the time we got home I just wanted everyone to go to bed so I could have a nice stiff drink.

You know what?  We’ll do it again next year.  Traditions are like that.  Sometimes in the moment they are painful, but the more you do it (and perhaps the further away you are from it in time) the rosier they seem and the more meaningful they become.  For us, the annual viewing of the lights means christmas is less than a week away.  Our holiday season would be incomplete without it , temper tantrums and all.