During my doomed marriage, I tried to normalize holidays for Darling Daughter by introducing traditions.
One of the first was for both of us (DD and me) to go to a tree farm to pick out our Christmas tree. After all, who could resist the name “Troll Knoll Tree Farm”? Well, apparently DD could resist after the first year we tried it.
I tried to interest her in sewing and crafty items one year, thinking that it would be something we could do together every year. She tolerated my intentions for that one year but let me know that she wouldn’t be participating next year.
Ditto with baking and cooking for the Thanksgiving and Christmas day meals. Zero interest. Mega attitude.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that she was directing me on which traditions she wanted and which she didn’t.
I bought her a nutcracker soldier one year for the holidays. I saw another the next year and bought that one too. The following year, when we were taking the ornaments out, I was reminded that I needed to get her another nutcracker because now it was a tradition. Who knew?
Back when she was really little, I was very frustrated by the overpriced Easter baskets, toys, candy, etc. I bought a brown wicker basket, filled it with green fabric strips, tossed in a couple of books, some raisins, and Peeps (can’t forgo all of the sugar) and she was happy as a little clam. She still has the basket and the fabric strips and she fills it now for GrandDolly.
One year when she was a teenager, we took a ride through town and the outlying villages, just looking at the lights on Christmas Eve. The next year, I was reminded that we needed to do it again because it was tradition. And so we did.
The newest and funniest tradition that my DD likes to talk about every year, is that there is at least one gift that I forget to give her. It seems that within a month or so after the holidays, I find something stashed in a closet that I forgot to wrap. I feel
I guess the best traditions are the ones that you don’t know you are starting.