You would think that after 18 years of marriage we would be a well oiled machine of family traditions all our own. I would love that to be true, it isn't as if we haven't tried, we do have a few.
When I was growing up we did everything the same every year. One of my favorites thing to do was decorate for the holiday. I still remember the excitement of opening up the wrapped packages and finding all the treasures of Christmas. The ornaments with my name on them, the ceramic set of Christmas carolers. The kissing Santa and Mrs. Claus. I also remember that mom would make us fill the tree with lots of boring red balls before she would let us put on the fun ornament. It was a special day to decorate while listening to Christmas music on the record player. Our favorites were The Chipmunks and Andy Williams. I still feel warm and happy when I hear them play.
So of course in my family I want that to be special too. Each year I am excited to get out the decorations and re-live that experience. I force my family to join in my Christmas spirit as I play Christmas music loudly in the house and warm up the hot chocolate. John plays the part of the typical father by fighting each year with the Christmas lights. We had a brief reprieve from the fighting when we bought a pre-lit tree but now that it is a few years old and the bulbs are burning out the battle has resumed.
This year though as I was frolicking in the bliss of all our Christmas decorations my husband commented that this was my tradition and his family tradition was making cookies.
Imagine breaks squealing to a stop. Christmas cookies? Yes I knew that his mom had done the whole Christmas cookie baking thing back in the day and yes a few times John had made some cookies for us at Christmas but I had just never thought about it. Wasn't he in love with the decorating as much as I am? Plus, I hate to bake cookies. I have mastered one cookie recipe, snickerdoodles, and that is all I do.
Well not one to deprive my husband of his tradition I planned a cookie baking day on Sunday after church. It was particularly handy since I am going to a cookie exchange (although I swear this wasn't my ulterior motive :-)). So we made those cornflake wreath things for my exchange and then John called his mom for his favorite cookie recipe and we made those. And by we I mean John and Isabelle. I tried to help, I ate dough, but I really more enjoyed watching them work together. Isabelle loved it. In the end we had several yummy cookies decorated enthusiastically by Isabelle and just maybe a new tradition at Christmas.