30 November 2012

Traditions

Welcome to the November 2012 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Gratitude and Traditions

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about gratitude and traditions by sharing what they are grateful for, how they share gratitude with their children, or about traditions they have with their families. The Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival will be taking a break in December, but we hope you will join us for the great line up of themes we have for 2013!

Christmas is a time steeped in tradition.  As a child these were important to me, I knew what to expect and I have fond memories of this time of year.  As I have grown older, got married and started a family my childhood traditions have been lost as they have had to be merged with those of my husbands family and those of siblings partners.  I have realised recently that I am mourning their loss.

I have held on to one tradition and that is that we have Christmas in our home every other year, on the other year we visit both parents/grandparents they live some distance from us, but only an hour from each other.  The Christmas we have at home is as I had as a child, fairly quiet and with a few simple presents.  Christmas away is the total opposite, although we still give a few simple presents we receive, in my opinion, far too many.  I will never forget a Christmas, a few years ago now, I had carefully bought presents for extended family.  I watched in horror at the huge pile of presents they were opening, mine was opened and placed on a pile without being looked at and without any regard for who it was from.  I was really saddened by it all, surely this is not what Christmas is all about?

It is difficult to tell someone that you want them to buy you less, I would not want to hurt anyone's feelings by suggesting that their presents are unwelcome.  But I have come to realise that actually my feelings are being ignored too if the situation does not change.

Presents is just one thing, food can be just as bad.  Where has the tradition, for some, of overindulgence, of doing a monthly shop for a few days meals come from?  Again it is not for me.  I find so much of the food associated with Christmas far too rich, Christmas pudding and cake, mince pies, a simple cake and an apple pie is good for me thanks.  My ideal Christmas meal is one that is a bit special, it might take a bit longer than usual to prepare, it will be made from scratch and using ingredients not dissimilar to those that I would eat on a day to day basis as those are the ones that I love.

The most important thing to me at Christmas is that I can spend some quality time with my immediate family and, if it can be organised, my extended family too.  It is about exchanging a few simple presents, and it is about sharing good food together.  It is about moderation.

I am going to work hard at bringing some moderation into our family Christmas's, starting this year, perhaps then I will feel less overwhelmed by it all and actually enjoy it as I used to.

APBC - Authentic ParentingVisit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next year's Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!

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(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 30 with all the carnival links.)

9 comments:

  1. We had that issue in my family too, as our christmas party became bigger and bigger, we started getting more and more gifts and it was just too much.So last year we decided that we'd do just one gift per person, we'd pool up and we'd get something they truly want. Like for my eldest brother we got a set of kitchen knives...
    THis year I think we'll just do no presents, because ever since my daughter heard of Christmas, she's been going on and on about presents, so I feel that it's not very healthy.

    L

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    1. I love the idea of a pool, I have heard of others doing this. No presents is what I would love to do but I know some members of the family would not agree to this!

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  2. The holidays are definitely a time of excess, and we are sort of fighting back against that as well. This year for Christmas we are actually going away to stay at a hotel for a few nights. That is our present to ourselves as a family - rather than buying "things" we are buying a weekend together where we will do things as a family and enjoy each other's company. It isn't free, but it results in what we want: an experience instead of a "thing."

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    1. A weekend away sounds great, one of my best Christmas's was spent overseas with no present but great company.

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  3. The holidays should be a time for family and gratitude for the Light in our lives :) It's definitely become excessively commercialized and consumer-based, and we also try to limit the excess around our home! I share your feeling that as I have gotten older and started a family of my own, some of the traditions that I held so dear as a child are being left behind. . . but I try to continue as much as I can!

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    1. It is hard to find a balance isn't it, it is work in progress here. I am determined not to accept the status quo.

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  4. My husband takes two weeks off at the end of the year. I love that we can celebrate our holidays as a family and spend time at home with just us. We shut out the rest of the world (to an extent) and concentrate on our family.

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    1. We manage that when we are at home as a family but I am not sure the grandparents would want us to do that every year!

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  5. Here's to a Christmas of moderation rather than excess! I would love to have my daughter grow up associating Christmas with seeing friends and family and being happy, rather than with toys and presents!

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