During this time of year, the word “tradition” is thrown around quite a bit. To some, it is a joyous time when grand memories of family traditions get be created again this year. For others, it is a horrific memory in which it may be more fun to put a pencil through one’s eye. (My husband used that illustration during the traditional Christmas Eve service at a church we went to. It was just that horrific.) Views on the word vary from person to person.
As I reflect on my personal experiences with the word “tradition”, I think about so many different instances. Earlier this week was my birthday. Birthdays in the Metheny household have always been a big deal. The entire family gets together for dinner (birthday person’s pick), cake and presents. It is a time of celebration of life and family. When I turned 14, my mom and I started a new tradition to go along with the birthday celebration. She and I would go out of town for the weekend, spend the night in a hotel, and do some shopping. It would be just us girls. No Pops, no munchkins, no worries. I loved it! For 4 years this became the highlight of my birthday experience. For my 19th birthday, though, I was off at college. There was no way for me to get home and celebrate the “traditional” way. I cried that birthday…and the next one…and the next one. As much as I loved celebrating my birthday, I struggled adjusting to the lack of “tradition”. I wanted it back. Since I wasn’t living at home anymore, we have started a new tradition – packages. I always get a birthday package from my parents, along with multiple phone calls from the whole family. We try to make it as special as it was before even though everything is different. Since I got married, my husband now makes every effort to make my birthday special. This year he planned (with the help of some dear, very sneaky friends) a huge surprise party for me that I was oblivious about. It was wonderful! The amount of love I felt from the people at that table made me oh so giddy. I could not have imagined a better way to spend my birthday this year!
Another traditional event coming up this month is Thanksgiving. Since my family is 1800 miles away, spending Thanksgiving with them is quite difficult due to our tight income at this moment in our lives. We do spend Thanksgiving or the day after with Chris’ family, though. That is a tradition we still hold on to. We are also starting a new one. This is the first year we are having a Thanksgiving meal at our apartment as well. We’ve invited some of our nearest and dearest friends that will be around during the week of constant eating and fellowship. I have planned out quite an extravagant meal; I’m not even sure how I’m going to get it all made! But I am very excited for an opportunity to make new traditions and memories out of this time in our lives. I might just make Jamison do a little video taping to remember it. 🙂
The final big traditional moment coming up next month is…..you guessed it! CHRISTMAS! Woo hoo! My reason for enjoying Christmas as much as I do is for one main aspect, I get to see my family for about 2 weeks. Because I only see them twice a year, I have been waiting for this moment since June. I get to talk with my parents, share the hugs that have been sorely missed, prepare meals together, and just enjoy the antics of my siblings. I wait on pins and needles for those weeks. It’s currently only 34 days until I get there! Yay!
Thinking back to some of the traditions during Christmas, I realize we have quite a few thanks to my mom. She always puts so much effort into making sure our Christmas is amazing! She’s never failed at it either. She and my pops are such amazing people. They’ve made me who I am and helped me to appreciate the important things in life, like family. Some of our family traditions consist of: getting to open one present on Christmas Eve (ALWAYS PJS. ALWAYS. But I like them), making Christmas cookies from homemade dough, having lasagna on Christmas Eve for dinner, waking up NO earlier than 7 am to open presents on Christmas, staying in our pjs most the day (they are new pjs! They need to be broken in of course), and so many others.
In the spirit of making traditions, Chris and I started a couple this year. This is the first year since we got married (July 2008) that we bought a Christmas tree. Mind you, this tree better last us for years but it’s beautiful! We decorated it with blue, pink, and black ornaments. We also hung stockings on the wall, but instead of just 2 stockings, we have 7. Yup, 7. The other 5 belong to a key group of people that spend a lot of time at our house (and one that doesn’t have much time to stop by, but will as time goes on). They have become like family and we wanted to treat them as such by involving them in our new tradition.
I’m not sure what other traditions will be created over the next month, but I am sure that there will be more. I can’t wait!