No, not the line from Fiddler on the Roof – but close.
When my 3 girls were younger, it was often difficult to have set traditions over the holidays. Both my family and my in-laws insisted on each having their Christmas celebration and gift opening on Christmas Eve. Some years we went to both homes, but that was a bit chaotic. Then, switching to every other year always made someone feel left out. Who wants to make their mother-in-law upset? Anyone?
But, at home, we certainly did try to set traditions as much as we could. We always set aside an evening to decorate the house and tree, with tons of junk food and cocoa after. Christmas morning would be our family gifts, stockings, church, and a wonderful meal to follow.
But now? None of my 3 girls live in Eau Claire, and I cannot remember the last time all of them were home to decorate the tree. Last year I only saw two of my girls over the holidays as we were in Arizona for my father-in-law, who had major health issues coming back here the previous year. It is just not the same seeing homes decorated when it is sunny and 70 degrees.
Trying to get my extended family together now is impossible. Nieces and nephews now with spouses, children, and their own in-laws, plus they are spread out over four Midwest states. This makes it an almost impossible task. This year, and every year going forward, my wife has a plan!
We are going to invite our entire family annually to our house the middle weekend in January and try to bring a bit of each holiday to the weekend: turkey dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving, small gifts and stockings for Christmas, and a party with champagne for New Years’. If we all know it is an annual event, with the same weekend, we hope most can plan to come.
To incorporate our fabulous library services, who actually wants to watch all the commercials during A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, or Elf? We have all of these on DVD at the library. Christmas CDs to play music in the background? We have an array of music to choose from! Just ask at the reference desk.
I wish you all a blessed holiday season, and try to keep those traditions alive in your family.