Friday, December 19, 2008

Crunch time and the formation of new traditions

Every year, I get knitter's delirium and forget that there are only so many days in December before Yule, Christmas, and Chanukah. I've done a little better this year, making washies for several people I know and love and giving those with fancy soaps. I like fancy soaps and I can give them every year! Whee! Also, the people at Tennessee Gourmet are no less than wonderful. You should buy their stuff. I sent some gifts from there, but the shipping was crazy whoa, so I called them. Their gal, Sue, not only got my order down from $140-something to $102-something, but her follow-up email made me feel like a real live person instead of just an order number. Thanks, Sue!

Anyhow, I'm short by three or four gifts at this point and there's no way I'm going to get something handmade for those people at this point. There's just too much to do between now and then. Fortunately, we're going out into the world today and have pennies enough that we'll be fine.

So, John, Iris, and I have been a family for more than seven years and I'm not sure why, but we never managed to form holiday traditions of our own. I've been content to participate in the traditions of others and happy that I've made Yule part of my annual winter holiday thing, but the three of us didn't really have anything that was just for us. I thought of traditions as something that kind gradually form over time, but this year, we made a conscious decision to have family breakfast, just us, on Christmas morning. While the day of our Yuletide family breakfast may need to be fluid to allow for participation in other things and for work schedules, that time is just for us. It's something to build on and make our own.

Another new thing is Chanukah with my sister-in-law. Iris was introduced to Chanukah through John's parents, but they don't really have a big to-do at any of the holidays and have since become Mormons. I don't pretend to understand Mother of John, so I'm just going to go with it. Stepdad of John seems to just go along to get along. He's got a California surfer dude vibe to him... probably because he used to surf in California. Anyhow, my SIL is whatcha call a Jewish American Redneck and I love her so much. She asked us if we would be staying in East TN for longer than just for Christmas since Chanukah overlaps both Christmas and Yule this year and she wanted to know if she should hold back a few gifts for Iris for the days of Chanukah we'd be there. Iris is so excited about celebrating all the holidays (except for Kwanzaa, she says), but we never get around to Chanukah.

We'll have a tree and presents and lights for Yule, a tree and presents and lights and pancakes for Christmas, and latkes and presents and lights for Chanukah.
Happy Holidays, y'all.
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