Friday, December 25, 2009

Family Traditions...

Family traditions are a fun part of life. It is a privilege that most of us take for granted because we really don't know any different. After talking to some of my family over the holiday season, it makes me thankful that I have a family and that we have each other to enjoy the festivities. Daddy Brown and I both grew up in households that held traditions.

When Daddy Brown's parents, Gran Gran and Pops were married, they began their first Christmas traditions. Gran Gran came from a family that really didn't celebrate at Christmas time. Pops family were farmers and with the exception of maybe something a little more at the table at Christmas, the land and animals still had to be worked. There wasn't a bountiful of presents, there wasn't a Christmas tree, there was no special Christmas meal or Christmas cards sent to the family and friends. So, when they got married, they decided that Christmas was a time for celebration. As Daddy Brown grew up, the home was steeped with love and Christmas filled the home with decorations, presents, food and laughter. Daddy Brown's most memorable Christmas was the year he got his first rifle. After all the presents had been opened, Pops told Daddy Brown he thought he saw something behind the piano. Daddy Brown went to look and there hidden behind the piano, a rifle.

My parents didn't have great family Christmas traditions as children either. My mom saved quarters all year long so that on the night before Christmas she could go down to the 5 and dime and buy everyone something for Christmas morning. Everyone woke up on Christmas morning with a small treat, everyone except my mom. There was no special meal, sometime no meal at all, no tree and no decorations. When my parents got married, they also decided that Christmas was a time for special traditions for us kids too. Every year, my dad would go out and cut a cedar tree. We simply couldn't spend extra money on a store bought tree. Myself, my mom and sisters would decorate that tree and the Christmas glow from the tree would fill the room. We had so many memorable Christmas years. My favorite was the year my sisters and I got 10 speed bikes. They were teal green. We went outside and didn't have a clue how to use them. Down the big hill we all went. Tumbling half the way down and getting scrapes and bruises to boot. There was the year we had snow and my mom dropped jingle bells from the reindeer saddles and used 2 by 4's to make sleigh tracks in the snow outside our door. The year of the Cabbage Patch dolls was huge as well. We mustn't forget the year my dad placed a present from Santa in the middle of the room after they had gone to bed and for a whole hour, my mom actually believed in Santa Claus.

Daddy Brown and I have no idea what it would be like to not have a family Christmas. We don't know what it would be like to not have a family to spend it with. Whether it be because our grandparents were products of the depression or just the times didn't lend itself to set traditions. Nevertheless, our parents made an effort to make sure we had memorable, loving, warm and fuzzy memories as kids. Neither of us ever had a want or need that wasn't met. Now as we have The Brownies, we are carrying on our family traditions and making new traditions of our own. Our Christmas Eve afternoon is always spent with Daddy Brown's family. Christmas Day afternoon is always spent with my family.

Christmas morning is preserved for our own family Christmas. Last night, Daddy Brown and I were up until 3a putting toys together that Santa had dropped off at our house. Wrapping presents, eating Santa's cookies and the reindeer food. Drinking milk and hot coffee to make it through the night. Our last prayer before bed was..."Lord, please let the boys sleep until 9a." And true to the Good Lord's word, Little Brownie woke at 8:57a and Big Brownie woke at 9:02a. Daddy Brown got the ambiance ready with the lights, video camera and digital camera up and ready to go. We changed diapers, gave out morning milk and waited until it was time. Time to see what Santa had brought us in celebration of Jesus' birthday.

We opened the door to the playroom and what did we see, Little Brownie got a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe and Big Brownie got a Radio Flyer old fashion tricycle. The trike ended up being about an inch too big for Big Brownie to pedal the wheel all the way around. Little Brownie was in the Cozy Coupe as fast as he could run and open the door. Then, Big Brownie asked, "Is it my turn?" Now, in the garage, Santa had a Little Tikes Fire Engine Cozy vehicle that was to be kept until his birthday. The warm and fuzzy Christmas glow was replaced with Little Brownie grabbing Big Brownie by the hair and pulling him through the window of his Cozy Coupe. Daddy Brown and I decided to keep the peace. Santa must have meant for Big Brownie to have the Fire engine for Christmas. Daddy Brown came downstairs, put it together and brought it upstairs to the playroom. We explained that Santa forgot to put this one under the tree. Happiness was restored and peace on earth, good will to our brothers resumed.

The laughter filled the room. Frosty the snowman played in the background and there was one more present under the tree. A present left by Santa for Baby Jesus. It was a book called "God's Christmas Gift" and was the story of the foretelling and birth of Baby Jesus. It explained that the greatest gift to us, was the birth of Jesus. And it ended with the explanation that the greatest gift to God is the gift of ourselves. The Brownies actually sat in my lap as I read the book in its entirety. It wasn't a long book, large font and lot of pictures. Daddy Brown and I, although exhausted, are so happy that our Brownies are able to experience Christmas embedded deep with our family traditions. I'm ever grateful that both sides of our family enriched our lives with the spirit of Christmas. Now, we get to teach and share with our babies the meaning of Christmas and the traditions of being a family.

1 comment:

almost five said...

I love hearing all your family history pieces! Your boys are so blessed to grow up in a home steeped in love through the generations.

Happy New Year, dear friend! Miss you!