nypl-digitalcollections-510d47e3-6334-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99-001-wJournaling for the Holidays

If you keep a daily writing journal, writing down your family traditions and events of the Christmas season is a wonderful way to make memories for yourself and your loved ones.  If you write every years during the holidays, you can see how your traditions stay traditional or how they change over the years, especially as you add new family members.

When my entire family gets together for Christmas, we have fried oysters for the Christmas dinner, a tradition from when my mom’s mom was a girl.  Not one of my siblings’ spouses has acquired a taste, or even a tolerance, for friend oysters.  So we have ham along with the oysters, keeping our family tradition alive and our in-laws from starving.

When my husband and I were first married, we had a major disagreement over what kind of Christmas tree to have.  He grew up with artificial trees and likes them because they don’t shed needles and can’t dry out and catch fire.  I grew up with the whole real tree tradition — braving the elements to select a tree, wrestling it into the house, realizing it’s much too big, rearranging furniture to make it fit, watering it, and picking up the needles as it’s brought in, while it’s standing, as it’s taken out.  My husband did not see the charm of the live Christmas tree tradition.  He only saw a dead fire hazard.

We were still battling over the tree when I came home from work on day during the holidays and found a tree stand in our living room.  It’s one of the nicest surprises I have ever had.  My husband still thinks the tree is a dead fire hazard, but I accommodate him by not cutting the tree until a week before Christmas and taking it down on New Year’s Day.  Traditions remain and change at the same time.

Something else to record during the holidays are when events don’t going according to play.  I’ll write about holiday disasters on Thursday.