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Thread: Holiday Traditions

  1. #91
    Thinking femme fatale's Avatar
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    How willing are you to change your traditions? This year I have become really cynical over traditions since most people do them without really knowing why. We introduced some new things to our Christmas dinner this year (and last year), a broccoli gratin from New Orleans and a shrimp omelett, typical for this part of Sweden. Even though they were appreciated nobody really wanted to remove anything else even the things that noone hardly ever eats. It's like the things should be there just because they should be. Noone likes them but they should be there.

    Or in contrast, I read some interviews with famous people in Sweden about their Christmas traditions, what was the one thing they had to have. One them (our prime minister's wife) said that it was her mum's almond cakes that they always have after dinner. Except two of her three children who are allergic to almonds.

    I feel so bad for these children, that their mum has something that, to her, truly is Christmas and not everyone can enjoy it. And then, she went on by saying that one year she did not get the almond cookies “but I survived ha, ha, ha”. I have a newsflash for everyone reading this. You do survive a Christmas without something you would consider crucial. Maybe you will get the time to actually miss it. My dad always had nuts for Christmas, but when I got allergic to them (my mum is allergic as well, but I reacted to the nut dust that came when they were cracked) he gave them up for me. He would rather have me not sick for the entire month of December than for him to have nuts. And believe me he has survived and now, 15 years later, probably doesn't even miss the nuts.

    That's one thing I like about my parents' place. I can eat everything I'm served without questioning the cooks or reading the ingredients. Mr Fatale likes the traditions more than me and he always says that he hardly gets to see is relatives other than Christmas. I don't really get the hype over Christmas. If you want to see someone, friends, family, whoever just invite them over. And do with notcie so that you make sure that they can come. Why must you see everyone over Christmas?

    So, now that my rant is over, the question. Are the traditions really the most important part of Christmas? Would you change, or ignore, any of your traditions if needed?

  2. #92
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    My parents and my husbands parents are dead. We have moved MILES away from family and friends. I find that the traditions we have give me comfort and remind me of the ones that are either no longer with us or for whatever reason cannot be with us.

    We gave up a few traditions on Thanksgiving this year and I didn't think it would be, but it was hard.

    Now if a tradition is hurting someone (like with allergies, I can see having to give them up) but otherwise, what does it hurt? In my family, my daughter does not like most of what we eat for Thanksgiving, but she doesn't expect us to change our menu for her. She says she gets enough of the stuff she does like.
    Similarly, there are traditions from my family that my husband doesn't care for, but he would never ask me to change them as he knows they are important to me.

    I think that our traditions do bring us comfort, joy, memories of years and people past and by passing them along, we connect generations past and future.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  3. #93
    Thinking femme fatale's Avatar
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    Maybe I came off a bit wrong, I didn't mean that I wanted all traditions to be taken away, I just find it so interesting that some people rely so much on them. My aunt had brought loads (like 2 kilos=4 pounds) of cabbage for our Christmas dinner just for the sake that it belongs there, then nobody ate it. But when my Mum earlier had asked her if it was necessary to bring it (not knowing how much my aunt actually would bring) my aunt had said that sure, it belongs on Christmas dinner.

    I didn't mean to offend anyone, I'm sorry if I did, I got a bit jaded this Christmas when I reliased that many of the things were done without thinking. My two younger cousins and my aunt were almost terrified when we said that we did not need to watch the Disney special that airs every Christmas Eve. It's a television show and we know everything that will happen. I would have rather taken this time to really spend it with them (without a distracting TV) but they could not tear themselves from it.

  4. #94
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    It's an interesting question femme. I have traditionally made rumballs at Christmas... first for my dad, then for our staff party, then for a good friend. My dad died ths summer so I wasn't going to make them this year. Also a non-teaching staff member had questioned having "alcohol" at a school event last year and my good friend had to detox from alcohol. When the staff party started to come near, a lot of teachers mentioned they couldn't wait for the rumballs, so I asked the new principal for permission and he had no problem with it. So I made them and thought of my dad with love. They were very much enjoyed by the staff.
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  5. #95
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    I don't really have any die hard traditions but I understand the comfort in having them. I tried to keep some alive years ago but for one reason or another things didn't work out, I'd get disappointed, and then over time I just decided not to let traditions become so important to the point that I'd be upset if something didn't happen one year.

    This year I did reinstate the tradition that my husband and son WILL help me decorate the tree though Not sure if that's a tradition or a veiled ultimatum!

    For Thanksgiving we usually eat at the military base mess hall because my husband's father was military and then my husband was. The meal is very good, nicely decorated dining hall, and inexpensive. No clean-up either! But some years my husband has to work or his parents are not in town, so during those times, someone in the family cooks. But when at all possible, we eat at the base.

    Menu wise, there are the few staples of green bean casserole, mac and cheese, etc. but they aren't hard set rules. My sister-in-law makes great homemade noodles and chicken everytime she hosts Thanksgiving and it's really good.

    I think as long as you don't let a tradition become so important that your world would be crushed if it didn't happen one year, then it's great to have them. And unfortunately many do die out with the people who started them, or they never hold the same pleasure. But that's life. I have no idea if my son will have any traditions if and when he ever gets married. His wife may have some of her own and that's fine too. I just want to be around!

  6. #96
    Thinking femme fatale's Avatar
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    Gut, maybe if my aunt had brought too many rumballs it would be OK. Cabbage is just not good.

    Archie you said a quote which was my point all along, even if I was not so good at making it across
    I think as long as you don't let a tradition become so important that your world would be crushed if it didn't happen one year, then it's great to have them

  7. #97
    MRD
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    I don't know that I would be crushed if we stopped traditions, but I would be disappointed. But we don't have any that are weird or wasteful or harmful as in allergies.

    I used to have Thanksgivings and Christmases when my parents and other family members were alive that had 20-25 people at them. It was GREAT fun and I remember them fondly and everyone had such a good time.

    Now its down to just the 3 of us and I do miss the bigger, grander celebrations. So that's why keeping some of the traditions alive from that earlier time are important to me as it does bring me comfort to know that I carryon some things that have been done in my family for many generations and hopefully am passing them along to my daughter. Fortunately none involve great quantities of cabbage and sadly not rumballs either.

    My grandmother used to make pumpkin bread. She churned it out from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I took over making it years ago. Fortunately we all love it and the recipe makes such a huge quantity that I have enough to give to neighbors and friends. I think of my grandmother every time I make it and the memories make me smile. To me, that's what a tradition should be like. One that is useful and makes you smile.

    And that's probably why your prime minster's wife stil likes the almond cookies. They probably remind her of her childhood, maybe many of her relatives are deceased and the cookie represents a time in her life that held many fond memories. Sometimes they are symbolic and people take comfort in symbolism and ritual and I don't think there is anything wrong with that if it makes them feel better. Christmas is a happy time for me, but there is ALWAYS one day during the season that its not. I don't know when it will happen, but one day usually sees me having a good cry because I do miss my parents and my family and my friends that have gone and I have a really hard time that one day. Having traditions like the pumpkin bread, makes it easier for me to get through the holidays with only ONE bad day. But sadly, many people resent the holidays as it is VERY hard for them due to missing people they love or feeling lonely and if baking a cookie or having something from a happier time makes them get through the holidays easier, then I see no harm in doing it.

    And femme, I do understand what you're saying and I'd not like it either if people were watching tv. But we have a ritual or tradition that involves us as a family watching A Christmas STory together. We don't feel it's Christmas without watching it. Now we don't do it except with just us. If someone else was over, we'd do it another time (we have it on DVD, so can watch it whenever we want)
    Although I grew up with the tv on football all during the Christmas and New Year seasons, so to me that one isn't such a biggie.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  8. #98
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    I have a friend that told me years ago that it was a tradition in her house on New year's Day that whatever you did that day, you'd be doing all year.

    So I never do laundry on New Year's Day, however, it must not work as I end up doing laundry ALL FREAKING year!
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  9. #99
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    I have a tradition of making Hoppin' John on New Year's day because it's supposed to bring you wealth and good luck all year. I must not be making it right

    myrosie, I love pumpkin bread. I made it for the first time this year and will continue to do so. And the good thing is canned pumpkin is available all year so I don't have to wait for the holidays to make it.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchieComic Fan;2190513;
    I have a tradition of making Hoppin' John on New Year's day because it's supposed to bring you wealth and good luck all year. I must not be making it right

    myrosie, I love pumpkin bread. I made it for the first time this year and will continue to do so. And the good thing is canned pumpkin is available all year so I don't have to wait for the holidays to make it.
    Well I guess what I make is hoppin' john too as what I call hoppin john is peas and rice mixed and we always mix our black eyed peas with rice. I don't think I make mine right either.

    You know, its funny you say that. I have several recipes that we only have at the holidays and no reason why I couldn't make them anytime of the year, but I never do.

    I LOVE turkey, stuffing and mashed potatos. But I only roast a turkey once a year. Why is that?

    Maybe my new year's resolution will be to make pumpkin bread and a turkey dinner in July or April or some other time than the holidays.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

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