This year, we are having a lovely Christmas at home. Short of binding and smuggling our children across state lines, we have to. Because it is Christmas. And Christmas has its Traditions. One of them being we stay at home.

This attachment to tradition reared its head the year we, their lawful and unsuspecting parents, suggested going to the grandparents for Easter. They steadfastly refused. Topol would be proud. They bear no harbored grudges against or dislike for their grandparents, to my knowledge. And never did the objection hinge around the immense philosophical question, “How will the Easter Bunny find us?” In point of fact, none of the girls has ever believed in that giant, fun fur rodent as far as I know. Besides, the much more immense question referencing the big guy in red didn’t occur when we traveled to Colorado over Christmas one year. This, of course, was when they were all still very young and hadn’t yet grown into the dictates of tradition with a capital ‘T.’

In fact, the youngest recently proclaimed–“I’ll go anywhere the day before or after Christmas, but I will never leave my home on Christmas Day!” This causes me to ponder whether/if:

a) We will undergo the dreadful curse of feuding in-laws so often portrayed in movies. (We get them for Christmas. No we get them for Christmas. Fine, but we get to name their first-born child. Or dog.) This my husband and I so neatly bypassed by only one of us having parents.

b) She will simply remain here forever, living in her room, eating our food, taking care of the cats when we go to Costa Rica.

Actually, Plan B sounds kind of good, as long as she keeps the room clean. Cat sitting doesn’t come cheap.

Besides, I kind of agree. I didn’t mind Thanksgiving dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando a couple years back (though it was obscenely overpriced). But Christmas is in its own class. I can’t freeze time, and I know all three of them will leave home, and all too soon I may rarely have the scene I take in on Christmas morning. Five people in pajamas, in no hurry, taking turns watching each others’ delight, and, may I repeat, in no hurry for anything but each other. This I would never change if I could. It is, I might add, so much calmer than my own childhood with seven kids and parents who basically took cover until it was all over. I seem to remember a lot of flying tinsel.

May your Christmas be bright with the joys of family and God with us. If you have a tradition you’d like to share here, please do. Thank you for reading thus far.

*One tradition we’ve had for years–every year I give the other members of my family a “gift” from the Samaritan’s Purse catalog ( Over the last several years, they have “given” soccer balls to kids in Iraq, goats to families in India, medicine to women in Africa, and freedom to teenage girls in Southeast Asia. It is the gift we all treasure the most. I urge you to have such a tradition. You will never forget your kids’ faces when they see what has been done in their names.

One thought on “Tradition!

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