November 19, 2011
I was lying in bed last night, just before falling asleep, wondering…what should my Grateful blog be about tomorrow? This challenge is proving a bit difficult some days. I wasn’t coming up with anything earth -shatteringly (I make up words often) new, so I said to myself, “leave it til morning”.
This morning, after making pancakes for my youngest daughter and her fiend; they are headed to Kingston to watch their high school football team play in a huge game..GOOD LUCK HFCS FOOTBALL and a shout out the varsity girls soccer team, whom are also playing today in Cortland.(ok, I’ll focus now) I made myself a cup of tea, walked over to gaze out at the frosty morning through the kitchen window; daydreaming a bit…thinking then about how families change, evolve over time, and how holiday activities that have inspired our family’s celebrations have become family traditions.
I went on to think about Thanksgiving, and the fact that my eldest daughter and her boyfriend would be home for a few days. I am looking forward to their stay; being here with us to enjoy our traditional Thanksgiving Day activities, and the after dinner, before the Pro- or College games, flag football game, we use red and blue tinsel garland for “flags”, it is always so much fun, and funny, given that we have some very athletic sort, and some not so athletic sort (me)…my usual defensive move “tuck and cover”, usually we end up laughing so hard..no one can run! On a typical Thanksgiving Day we have about 25 folks here..family and friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Our memories are a time filled with laughter and lived fully. I am grateful.
Another holiday tradition is heading out to a tree farm for a “cut your own” adventure. I say adventure, because we always have 2 trees, one in the kitchen; a family tree, decorated with all of the home-made ornaments, some by my children, some made by friends, and the forever ornaments, those worn by time..yet they retain so much sentiment and history they must be placed carefully on the tree. The other tree, in the living/dining room, is a more formal tree (or as formal as we get here on the farm). Both beautiful in their own way. This year Juli and Josh will be cutting down the first tree of their own. Juli is very particular about trees, they must be full, they must be tall, they must be perfectly shaped….we have gone through literally acres of trees before my girls and I can agree on a tree(s). I guess we are all particular…
Sharing these traditions with family…a heartfelt continuity among generations, a time for Joy. Wasn’t it Tasha Tudor who spoke about children and Joy…( actually, I think they words were penned much earlier in the 1500’s, ” The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is JOY. Take Joy!” Most recently, Tasha Tudor, who’s books and illustrations I adore, wrote a Holiday book called “Take JOY”, an opportunity to cherish the simple magic of the season…without all of the commercial trappings. The simple joy of baking cookies together, hanging stockings, decorating the tree,(err..after we find them), taking a moment to breathe deep inhaling the crisp fresh air…inhaling the scent of the holidays. I think, we still invoke the magic of childhood in our traditions, every one eagerly anticipates all the rituals, and excitement, this season has to offer. Life is what you make it ~ we choose to make it joyful, by embracing each other(for what we are) and laughing as much as possible.
“One of the most important things you can do for your children is to give them happy memories of their childhood.”