Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tradition. TRA-DI-TION!

Well, I hope you are all hearing the bold sound of Tevye's voice in your head as he struts around singing "Tradition"! I think I need to go to Netflix and put that one on my queue. It's been too long since I had those songs stuck in my head!

Now, if you are an Adventist, like me, and grew up that way, you're probably already feeling a little panicky at the word "tradition". Yeah, you know you are! It seems sometimes that the word "tradition" rates right up there with "antichrist", "666" and "confessional".

Sometimes we throw the baby out with the bath water, folks!

I'm not even going to go into any theological debate over tradition in religion, but I will admit that there have been times I've thrown the baby out with the bath water, too. There's nothing wrong with tradition when it comes to traditions in families, cultures, holidays, and *cough* in appropriate religious forms, too, in my humble opinion.

Christmas is a prime example of where to find some wonderful traditions! Sleigh rides, hot cocoa, sledding, baking cookies, gingerbread houses, caroling, hunting through the woods for a Christmas tree, singing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and "The Redneck Days of Christmas".

What would we do without those traditions? Life would be... chaotic. Tangled. Disjointed.

In other words, it just wouldn't be Christmas!

So what did we do this year? Well, I can tell you what we didn't do!


*que really sad emoticon here.

For instance, every year since we've been married, we've had a family Christmas pic taken in front of our Christmas tree on Christmas morning. I've even worn the same red pajamas for the pic every Christmas. It's tradition! Or maybe just a sick fascination with seeing how well (or not) they fit from year to year.
Christmas family collage

But not this year. And not even because I had finally realized that that was a BAD tradition! Seriously, those things were never that flattering! I mean, did I really think I ever looked that good in bright, fire-engine red button-down pajamas?! Oy.

How about all the kids in red jammies in front of the Christmas tree instead?
Christmas Cousins 2

Oh yes, much better! Maybe that will be our new tradition, eh?

Another tradition is to make sugar cookies and a gingerbread house and decorate it.
Like this, except not FLAT.

Well, then. Moving on.

How about singing along to our favorite Christmas music?

No stereo in the house except the cd drive in the computer and the poor little emachines speakers. Nothing but a tape player in my '86 Suburban. No tape of Christmas music recorded on a tape from 1989, OR the cd of Dolly and Kenny Christmas to Remember. Where ARE those two favorite things?!

Well, Pandora came to my rescue and had a wonderful station of lovely Christmas music that did not include any techno or raggae. It played every song and anything that sounded remotely musical from the Charlie Brown Christmas special ad nauseum, but somehow Pandora neglected to include any Dolly and Kenny.

And for the first time since 1980-something, I did not hear ANY Dolly and Kenny Christmas music in the month of December.

Hey, I know what you're thinking. But don't knock my Dolly and Kenny, y'all. I LOVE me some Dolly and Kenny. Their Christmas special first aired in 1984 and that's right about the time I started singing along to every song on that record, and I never stopped. It's as much a part of Christmas to me as... well, as the Christmas tree! And lights! And presents, and bows, packages, boxes and bags! Oh, wait, now I'm veering off into another Christmas special I saw every year. Hmm...

Twice I've lipsynced an entire Dolly and Kenny Christmas song in front of a video camera. Once when I was 10, and once when I was... considerably older than 10. One day I'll get my brother Jake to digitalize the 10 year old one and maybe I'll even put it on youtube so you can all laugh until you cry. I was SO adorable as Dolly! And my dad even played the part of Kenny and lipsynced too! Ahhhh... good times.

Oh, how often I dreamed that we'd go to one of those *imaginary* concerts nearby, only to discover Dolly had fallen sick with laryngitis and I'd have to climb the stairs to the stage and take her place to sing along with Kenny!

Hey. A little girl can dream, right?!

All right, folks, show's over, wipe the tears of laughter away.

Good memories.

Only 11 more months to go (plus an extra day, silly leap year) until the next Christmas morn comes too soon and moves down the line into the annals of yesteryear. So without further ado, I will attempt to make up for lost (Christmas)time and start NOW with getting my Dolly and Kenny fix.

Complete with tight, fur-trimmed sparkly vest and.... mannequins? Wow. Classic. And very scary. I think after this I'll stick with just listening! The dancing elves and rocking out in church in the other videos are still burning my eyes, too, but, hey, you do what you got to when it comes to Christmas Traditions!

So what are your favorite Christmas traditions?

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