By John Hubbuch
Christmas is a time for remembering. That's why our holiday traditions are so important to us. Families pass them on generation by generation. Some families open presents on Christmas Eve. Others Christmas morning. Some decorate the tree with white lights. Others go with multi-colored lights. Some houses are minimally lit. Others look like Clark Griswold's. Christmas Story or A Wonderful Life. Go to church. Stay at home. Every newly-wed couple must resolve the conflict of competing Christmas traditions. ( " But when are we going to my parent's to open presents." " I'm not making Yorkshire pudding.")
Very few traditions last forever. Marriage, death and children become adults shuffle the Christmas deck. Almost every new family decides to have Christmas morning at their home when the children get old enough , rather than go to Mom and Dad's. An artificial tree begins to make more sense. Maybe exchanging gifts with 60 year old siblings is kind of pointless. Fruit cake? Really? The Christmas letter begins to bore even the authors. Adult children refuse to wear Santa hats for the Christmas card, or even refuse to be in the Christmas card. If there is a tradition that the youngest passes out the gifts, what happens when he turns thirty, and resigns as elf. Hopefully, a grandchild is old enough to accept the mantle of elfness. Pop dies and so does his eggnog recipe.
We probably hold on to our traditions a few years to long, but it is understandable. Christmas is a happy time of the year filled with good memories. it is hard to let them go.