Sunday, December 20, 2009

Haul out the holly

One of the Christmas activities we have here in Conway is a visit to the light display out at the soccer field just outside of the town limits. You drive slowly around the perimeter of the complex and look at the reindeer browsing for fodder ... the elves making toys at Santa's workshop ... the Christmas train pulling in at the depot ... the nativity scene ... toy soldiers marching by their guardhouse ... and skaters gliding (or falling) on the ice.

The highlight of the tour is the set of numbers depicting the twelve days of Christmas. After two or three prior visits where we sang the song while driving by, the kids now know exactly what's coming. I sense that we now have a Tradition.

It's tough to create a tradition from scratch. They tend to just happen, I suspect. You do something by accident, and then somebody gets attached to it. The downside of traditions is that we get anxious if they are threatened. And so while I'm looking forward to Christmas morning here at home -- something we haven't experienced with the kids very often yet -- I know that I'll likely to feeling some stress about trying to make it match with the traditions I'd like to create, the ones that as of now exist only in my head.

And so it's a good time to remind myself that there is no such thing as the way it's always been -- only the selective perception of the way we think it ought to be. The holidays belong to all of us. That gives us the power to create the traditions that work for us, but it also gives us the responsibility to let other people do the same.

1 comment:

Ali said...

Why did no one tell me there was no model train this year!! Oh, the look on Jude's face when we opened the door to that building to see a sad craft table and a bored Santa--and no train! He loved that train last year... We ran into the Parracks on the way out (Jude ended up being a pretty good sport about it, although when I mentioned what a fun day we had had, he added that it was also kind of a sad day because there was no train...), and Jen said that the no-train news was all over the "emails"--guess I'm not in that loop. Oh, the humanity. :)