Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Family traditions

I made brief mention in my last post of family traditions that I like during the Christmas season. My favorite is our stockings. I would take a picture and show you (and I still may at some point), but the wire to connect the camera to the computer has been packed and is currently in no-man's land.

The tradition is simple. Each member of the family has an inexpensive stocking. Each year we sew something on the stocking that we feel represents the year. My wife and I started this tradition the first Christmas we were married and it's fun to see the space on the stocking changing from plain red to a variety of symbols that represent our lives.

My stocking has several symbols of college (because that has been a big part of my life for several years). I think my favorite symbol is the slug that I put on in 2005. The slug was the symbol from my first real attempt at gardening. I was living on the Oregon coast and we had a SERIOUS slug problem. I would go out every morning with a spray bottle full of ammonia and shoot the slugs. I counted on an typical morning and I shot well over 100 slugs with ammonia (ammonia kills slugs like salt, but it is better for the garden than salt). I also tried containers of beer to drown the slugs (it works, but yeast and water work just as well). Enough about slugs. To make the symbol, I cut a slug out of a piece of fabric (not an easy task). Most of the time we just find a picture on an old t-shirt or something so it takes minimal artistic ability, but in 2005 I cut the slug from an old shirt that my grandfather had given me because that was the year that he passed away. No, I do not associate my grandfather with slugs, but I truly enjoy the memories of my Christmas stocking.

This year I put a bike gear on my stocking. It was a simple iron-on decal that I ironed onto a toilet cloth (as a symbol of the importance of the environment in my life and my efforts to take action).

My wife sewed on a walking stick because she had some back problems and got around with this old nasty walking stick for some time this year. We called the stick a 'Nancy stick' in fond memory of a neighbor in our last house.

The mugwump (5 year old son) sewed on a plus sign because he started school and he enjoys math. Actually I think he enjoys reading and history more, but we already have a book on there from last year.

Six-Pence (3 year old) decided to have a puzzle piece sewn onto his stocking because he loves to do puzzles. I don't know that puzzles are the most monumental thing in this 3-year old's life, but that is what he wanted to put on there, so we did.

Jaguar (the 10 month old) obviously didn't have much say in what went on his stocking, but we decided to put a musical note because when music starts, he really likes to dance. Of my three sons, the youngest has by far the best rhythm.

So what are your favorite holiday traditions?


Jayne said...

Hey! Just checking out your blog per Alyssa's email and I have to say I love this tradition!!

Also, I just finished watching your 'affluenza' video. Now I'm hunting youtube for the other videos you mentioned. I totally agree with what the video said. We handmade Christmas presents this year for the most part. A friend gave me a new pair of gloves for Christmas because mine had holes in the finger tips. I laughed and said: "I use it up and wear it out or do without!" (Pres. Hinckley). Those gloves were from High School, maybe Jr High, by the way. It's especially hard when I see others struggle financially who just don't know how to spend wisely or simply do without. Anyhow, you've awakened me to my soup box preaching so I better end. Thanks for the fun reading!

Emily A. W. said...

Thats a great idea! It will make Christmas a lot of fun as memories abound.

I remember the slugs. Yuck.

My favorite holiday tradition is the family reunions because of the good food and a chance to see people once a year that share some of my genetic code.