Sunday, December 11, 2011

Traditions - New and Old

As families evolve, so do their traditions.  We've carried on traditions from years ago when the kids were small, but with the changing family dynamics, not to mention all the added people our children married and brought into the fold, we've had to add new traditions to the mix.  This makes for a rich and varied Christmas season.

One of our newest traditions started four or five years ago when it we decided that it'd be fun to have a party with just the adult children, giving them a break from their kids for an evening.  It has turned into a much anticipated event.  This year just four of the kids and spouses attended - the out-of-towners who had a 5 or a 12 hour drive, were excused, as was our son Rob who was on a business trip to, of all places, Siberia.

Jenny, Lloyd and Anders - quiet time before the rest arrived

Me and daughters Jenny, Amy, Sara and Emily

Lloyd with Sons-in-law Curtis, Allan, Anders and Quincey

Of course, food was the first order of the evening, and then we sat around in a large circle and played a hilarious game of Catch Phrase, opened gag gifts (we drew numbers to see who would choose the first gift, then each person in turn could take an unopened gift or 'steal' from one of the gifts already opened) which consisted of such things as unliked movies, hot sauce, a statue of Queen Elizabeth who waves her hand when put in the sun, ugly Christmas ornaments, etc.  Then we told stories of Christmasses past and traditions each family enjoyed, and visited till after midnight.

One tradition that developed when our kids were still at home, and which I'm sure our kids don't know about, has to do with how many presents each one found under the tree.  Lloyd and I always made lists and kept track of who got what so that no child got more gifts than another...because I'm sure they counted and we wanted to have a peaceful Christmas day.  When the buying was completed and the wrapping begun Lloyd would invariably come home with a gift that he just had to get for one of the kids.  Of course, that meant that we'd have to go shopping for an additional gift for the other six kids!  Sometimes he'd do this more than once and the kids ended up with more gifts than was originally planned.  Lucky kids to have such a generous father!

It's fun now to see which of our traditions our children are carrying on in their families and which ones they've added from their spouse's family.  It's all about love and togetherness though and we have plenty of that to go around.

I hope you're enjoying your special traditions of this festive season.

11 comments:

Thisisme. said...

Lovely photos of your large family today, Pat, and what a super header photo of little Emily taken in 1986. It's so precious, and I love it. No doubt she is a lovely young lady now!

Ellie said...

Your evening sounds like great fun - good to have family round for a get together. Your girls are all very pretty. Long may your traditional night last!!

Desiree said...

You have such a large happy family. I loved seeing each of these photos and hearing all about your Christmas traditions and gatherings. Emily was a beautiful baby!

Michael MacKenzie said...

Wish I could've been there. So you closer to Christmas.

Michael MacKenzie said...

That should say "See you closer to Christmas."

Mickey said...

First of all, love your new little tree! It's beautiful!
So nice to see you with all, or should say, some of your children! I know Mary, Rob and Michael will be included in further Christmas celebrations!
Looks like you had a wonderful get together!
Merry Christmas MacKenzie family!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a wonderful tradition! It would be hard getting all mine together like that for an evening as most live a couple hours and more away from home. How wonderful it must be to have 4 daughters. I only have one and 6 boys. Even when our family gathers for Christmas it's hard to get all of them as a couple out of state rarely get home then.

TARYTERRE said...

You have a lovely family. Your daughters are all so pretty and your SILs very handsome. Your tree is beautiful too. It is so nice you get together like this, without the kiddies. (There's plenty of time for that later. LOL ) Family Traditions are steeped in history. But it's fun to start NEW ones. Take care.

Granny Annie said...

Love your family pictures and hearing about your celebration fun. Our family plays a traditional game called "Wahoo" and it is a board game much like Aggravation. No gathering is complete without it and we often quote parents and grandparents who are no longer with us but always with us in spirit.

I love you baby picture! It sure tells a Christmas story of joy.

Magpie said...

I'm loving your traditions and your generosity in adapting to changing families. Sometimes Christmas gets so locked in old traditions and there's no yield or give for the new, that it's not about love anymore. You have a wonderful family and the love shows on each smiling face. Merry Christmas!

Delena said...

I am so envious of you being home for Christmas. It really is about family. Next year we will go home for Christmas and then back south.
I miss all those family traditions. We did the silly gift exchange too just with adults. Also I can remember how the daughter and daughter-in-laws made homemade gifts for each other and met over coffee to exchange them!