Monday, December 21, 2009

Missing: Christmas Traditions

Last Wednesday was just a Christmas kind of day . . . crisp air . . . homes sporting thick green wreaths at every window . . . Enya singing "O Come Emmanuel" hauntingly over the radio . . . me picking up Oldest Son from his last exam . . . school out for Christmas break. Aaah.

Oldest Son jumped in the car and, as usual, downloaded his day for me. I love it!

Algebra II exam - easy; Chemistry exam - easy; Writing exam - hard.

Hard? You do well at writing!

Well, she gave us the question, "What are your family's Christmas traditions?" and we don't have any.

Oh my . . . perfect Christmas-y day blown to smithereens!!

Immediately my mind went into action! No Christmas traditions! All good moms have Christmas traditions. This can't be true. I need to:

#1 - Contact the teacher and explain to her all the good traditions that we have . . . don't we?!

#2 - List out for Oldest Son all the wonderful traditions that he has forgotten.

#3 - Come up with at least 6 new traditions to start this year.

The longer I thought, however, I realized Oldest Son was exactly right. There just aren't a lot of Christmas traditions in this family.

He happens to have a mom (me!) who is easily bored, hates ruts, and is easily distracted.

Red and gold tree 2 years in a row? New color scheme this year! Everyone else does big turkey dinners on Christmas day? Let's do hors d'oeuvres! Advent wreath 2 years ago, visit to holiday lights display last year, let's watch the Christmas story movie this year.

He's right. This family is painfully short on Christmas traditions!

So either one of two things is true. Either (a) I'm the worst mom in the whole, entire world, or (b) I'm the most exciting, spontaneous, and creatively un-boring mom in the world.


Or maybe there's a third option. What if my desire and passion to mirror the love of the Heavenly Father every day is really the most important thing in Oldest Son's life. And what if even after I've done the best mirroring I can do, it really is all His grace and His good work.

Maybe neither my spontaneity, litany of Christmas traditions, or goodie-filled Advent calendar is what the Good Mom/Bad Mom title hangs on.

Whew! I sure hope so. Because if this child's emotional stability is riding on a home filled with Christmas traditions, he's going to need a lot of therapy.


  1. Shelley, this blog post made me smile. I just imagine that you are a fun, spontaneous mom, full of the love of Christ. I have a feeling oldest son has everything he needs. Merry Christmas.
    P.S. Thank you for your sweet post on my blog. I've been in a blogging funk lately and it comes and goes with my mood. :)

  2. Oh Shelley what a scream!! Spontaneous !! got for it...its bound to be more fun..for all concerned.
    Seriously though, as our children grow things change and we need to move with it...its never too late to try a new tradition, if it sticks, then it worked! I am left smiling and wondering what your son did write, and will it be his best mark :)

  3. oh...and the snow on the pretty..i see lots of tradition in your pics..:)

  4. Beautiful photos! reflecting some of your traditions? Love the way you are able to express yourself. Sounds like you know what's most important for your kids!

  5. That last "anonymous" post was from Ellie. Having trouble posting comments in your blog, except under anonymous.

  6. What a great post! I agree with are a great mom that does lots of different things each year to reflect Christ. I wonder what my kids would say...I don't do the same things each year either.