tradition!

14 Dec

Welcome to the December Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk Traditions

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama.

Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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A certain newborn may be faulted for our procurement of a 2009 holiday tree at what some might call the last possible second — Christmas Eve — but in actuality I think we could’ve managed a trip to the tree lot if there’d been some kind of pre-set plan. A presumed time with corresponding stop at cute cafe and a swing by the most festive neighborhood lights display before heading home to drink cocoa in our matching Hanna Andersson jammies. Also, you know, two-thirds of us are Jewish, so this may not have been a realistic scenario. But you get the idea.

Since George has been alive, I’ve put my holiday planning into overdrive which, to me, is really intense but, to you, might look significantly…um, less so. Not impressed by that L’Shana Tovah banner I hung in the front window for Rosh Hashanah, eh? Well, I tried.

This year, we’ve persevered despite having a two week-old sapping our energy as one of our thirtieth birthdays passed by and realizing the night before Thanksgiving that we may not have money to buy the makings for the standard Macy’s Parade-watching quiche (we scraped it together). But, do I want George to be a part of a make-it-work-with-a-little-felt-and-a-WIC-check kind of family? Little by little, we’re getting it in gear and I’m pleased to report that Hanukkah has been our best showing yet. Homemade food, homemade gifts, thoughtfulness in the place/face of blatant consumerism and as much family time as we could muster with a papa who works two jobs. That said, our biggest, most tradition-y effort still lies ahead.

I’ve talked a little bit about George’s naming ceremony, or brit shalom, in the past, but it, like his first birthday, always seemed a loooooong ways off. We chose a name to honor a very special lady, picked a date for the party and made the invitations, and even THEN its imminence didn’t sink in. We’re now at T minus about two weeks, and I am staring down the barrel of the first culturally significant milestone of my baby’s life. An event steeped in tradition. And meaning. And I’m a floppy felt banner in the window sort of mom.

This was all giving me a serious case of the worries until one of our dear friends said something that I know resonated with, well… everyone in the room at the time, because it applied to all of us in different ways. Your children won’t remember that you’re poor; they’ll remember that you loved them. Will George look back on photos of his naming ceremony and birthday party and think, “Wow! What a tiny, crappy house! And you couldn’t spring for a real mohel?”? Or will he see all the friends and family? Will he see the homemade food and decorations for the loving contributions they were? I needed to check myself and stop reading so many design blogs.

The facts are these: We aren’t wealthy. We aren’t organized. We aren’t a traditional family. But we’re creative, and as I assembled and addressed the invitations to George’s naming ceremony and birthday party this evening, I took heart in that. Because some years, we might not get a tree until Christmas Eve. We might have fettuccine alfredo for Thanksgiving dinner and make Purim costumes out of the Goodwill bag. But I’d bet money that in the pictures, we’ll be smiling. And that’s a tradition I can get behind.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

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16 Responses to “tradition!”

  1. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama December 14, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Hey mama, I can commiserate. On December 1, I got out a bunch of stuff to make an advent calendar – it’s still sitting in a pile. I am late with everything! I did get the tree up on time, but that’s only because I was super motivated to hang up our homemade ornaments :) I agree with you – no one needs to be organized or rich, we just need to make sure we have fun!

    • veryveryfine December 14, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

      i’m really stoked on making an advent calendar next year. there have been so many great diy ideas floating around the internet this month!

  2. Amy December 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Im right there with you, mama! We’re a “getting by on WIC checks and craps of felt family” ourselves! And you know, I feel so blessed to be in the position I am. Because if we had the extra money, Abbey would be at nursery school part time and I would be perusing my IBCLC certification more vigorously, and when I think about it, I wouldn’t have half the fun and amazing memories and experiences that I do staying at home with abbey!

    And btw, your little boy is just too precious!!

    • veryveryfine December 14, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

      i’m a complete believer that creativity, either voluntary or forced (ha), is what makes childhood awesome. having a present parent or two can’t hurt, either. :)

  3. Lily Shahar Kunning December 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    I am loving the hodge podge of traditions you have- and your relaxed attitude about them. It is after all, supposed to be FUN!

  4. Kristin December 14, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Absolutely — I believe a little creativity and family and friends happy to be spending time together is all that matters! My kids, more often than not, have the most fun on events/outings/gatherings/traditions that cost the least. Your upcoming party/naming ceremony sounds wonderful! And holy cuteness, what an adorable little guy you’ve got there!

  5. Lauren @ Hobo Mama December 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Oh, you’ve got me tearing up here. It’s so true — what I remember isn’t how much my parents spent on each holiday (beyond a couple big-ticket gifts that stood out but that I wasn’t even expecting) or how perfectly the house was decorated. It was the fun we had together and the traditions we made. A lot of our decorations were handmade, and I was always the kid at Halloween who had a thrown-together costume when all her friends were wearing store-bought. But, you know, I liked my homemade costumes. They were more creative, and fun for me to prepare with my mom. So just keep going forward, loving your family and showing it, no matter how much time and money you have. I need that reminder, too.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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