Traditions


I’m starting to write this post late in the morning on Friday. Ultimately, it won’t matter and you wouldn’t know because I’ll schedule it for 5:00am tomorrow as per usual. But, we had to deal with an annual tradition.

Around here, we celebrate Christmas. We’ve always celebrated it on various days and various places coming from large families that always have had to balance work and travel schedules.

Years ago, my parents started a tradition for my brother and me. The setting was me as a university student counting every penny from summer jobs to get me through the school year paying tuition, books, rent, and food. Unlike today’s huge expenses for students, it actually was mostly payable through summer jobs. I started saving in Grade 9. Even so, life was pretty restrictive and the extravagant things in life were just not there.

At Christmas, my parents had the requisite gifts of course, but there was always a special bag full of stuff that I would have elected not to buy because they were above and beyond the basic necessities. Things like good coffee, chocolates, candies, potato chips, gift cards to Swiss Chalet, etc. Mom had a special family name for this bundle of stuff. It was something that she carried on, even though I didn’t need them but she liked to think that she was starting a tradition.

When I married and we had children, her tradition continued. Selfishly, I can report that the contents were now more geared to the kids than me. Some required a lot of work like building a gingerbread house but they were always appreciated. As time moved on, certainly they were more appreciated by the kids and they would look forward to trips to Grandma and Grandpa’s place just for this package.

Now, our kids have moved out and they have their own kids. Their grandparents are not around to keep their tradition alive so my wife and I have done our best to make it continue. Now making healthier choices, we get the disapproving looks with some of the goodies that we put into these packages. Nobody actually complains and I suspect that most of the treats are enjoyed by everyone despite these looks. I do now understand the joy that my parents had by doing this.

What does that have to do with blogging? At the rise of the sun, usually Jaimie and I are out and about doing our thing. I was reminded that the store where we were going opens its doors at 8 and it’s a Friday so we need to get there to avoid the crowds. We did get there about 8:30 and did a quick walkthrough to gather stuff, making sure that we got three of everything since we have three kids and someone might be keeping score.

My marketing mind smiles at how some of the things that are available any time of the year are now packaged with a Christmas type of theme. I’m sure there’s a little premium for this sort of thing.

When we got back home, the stuff was stacked into three piles on the bed to make sure that everything was equal. The consensus was “mostly” so I’m sure that there will be another trip specifically to even things up.

The things that we do for our kids.

Do you have any traditions in your family that it’s fallen on you to maintain? Can you share them in the comments?

OTR Links 12/11/2021


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