Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Christmas Traditions are a funny thing. We all have them... whether they have come from our parents, or community, or we make them up ourselves. Traditions are made when you feel that you must do these same events each year. Sometimes we have traditions, we didn't even know we have until you stop doing them.
Now, the tough thing about traditions is..... things change from Christmas to Christmas. Your kids grow up, they move away, they come back, they bring babies... We have Christmas's through Skype and by phone. All these factors make Christmas traditions hard to keep going... and that's when your traditions start to become "memories" instead.
This Christmas, I found myself thinking a lot about my parents who laid a wonderful foundation for us kids, full of Christmas traditions and happy Christmas memories. Some of their traditions have long gone by the way side, but are fun memories. My mom cooked a big meal on Christmas Eve, usually AFTER midnight mass.. with some weird bird.. like duck, Cornish hens etc. Then a turkey on Christmas Day... what a pile of work, I didn't even appreciate what she did. We opened one gift on Christmas Eve and we selected it from the meagre spread of gifts under the tree, from the few relatives that sent us gifts... but there were no other gifts under the tree. But Christmas morning the tree would be fat with boxes and packages giving the illusion that Santa brought us all those gifts during the night. Eventually they had to change up their Christmas mornings when we all moved away, when we all had kids, when we started making our own traditions.

Last year, we spent Christmas in Fredericton with my whole family.... with my two girls and two son-in-laws... my sister and her whole family. This brand new experience was sprinkled with parts of our Christmas traditions, the Matheson's traditions and The Mitchell's. The joining of families also opens the door to new ideas.
This Christmas, Stephanie and Sean were in Korea, and Michelle and Scott, with baby Jack, came to our house.. and we spend Christmas here with a new baby. Stephanie's Christmas was 12 hours ahead of ours.. and that was fun through Skype.... We shared her Christmas and then 12 hours later.. she shared ours. So fun, but again... more changes. Somethings never change.. but almost everything else does!!

Traditions... like building a puzzle... new in the past few years.. but truly a fun one... carried on this Christmas.. This year... a CAT Puzzle... and the cats got into it... trouble makers!
Puzzles are an additive Christmas activity and no one can walk past it without trying to one or two pieces... and then before you know it... an hour has gone by.
Sometimes the colours and markings of the pieces all blur together and you need to change up your vantage point!!!
On several occasions we found on or more cats asleep on the puzzle and we also found a few pieces "mysteriously" scattered on the floor. Extra challenge..
But after 4 days of peck and search... it was done... and what a stunning puzzle it is.. it sits proudly on our coffee table covered in Plexiglas because no one has the heart to break it up yet.
We received a very cool Canada Flag puzzle as a Christmas gift from the Ottawa Mathesons. We are dying to break it open, but we are back to work .. and I am afraid it will have to wait until perhaps this weekend.!


ancient one said...

My mom used to get a puzzle every Christmas. She passed the winter days putting it together and anyone who visited was called upon to add a piece or two. Now, she says she cannot see well enough to do a puzzle. So she watches her soaps and tv programs.

jo(e) said...

Jigsaw puzzles have long been a tradition in my family. I like all the talking that goes on while we work on it.

Anonymous said...

I love that we all have our own traditions!!! We sometimes do a puzzle also...but there are too many addictive and competetive personalities in our house.
I saw that Canada puzzle in the store and almost bought it...it looks very interesting and difficult!
Ashley had a picture turned into a puzzle for Brian's parents (who are puzzle addicts)! so many fun ideas!
:) Debbie

Anonymous said...

Funny that you do puzzles...we always did them as well. I think this is the first Christmas in a lot of years that we didn't do a puzzle....and I really missed it. And we always opened one gift as well on Christmas eve and I carried it on with my girls....it was an easy way to get the girls to settle down and wait for Christmas morning....fun traditions. We will have to get together some time soon....can't believe I didn't see you over the holidays. Happy New Year to all of you. Your former Diamondtologist friend.