Traditions, Holidays and Warm, Fuzzy Feelings

December 16, 2016 BY Renee Limon

This month we have been asking families about their favorite traditions, and not surprisingly, most of those traditions involve holidays. We hope you will check out the bulletin board in our lobby, where three families shared their favorite traditions involved with Thai New Year, Chinese (lunar) New Year, and Hanukkah. It’s fun to hear about the mouth-watering dishes that families make, and how kids get to share in the merry-making.

I also asked our clinic peeps what their favorite traditions are, and just love the personal tidbits they shared.

Here’s what Laura had to say:

“We go to a different tree farm each year and cut down our own tree.  I look forward to bundling up and getting a little muddy. We like finding a tree with a few quirks or a ‘Charlie Brown’ tree to give some love to. This year we brought in the big muscles to help carry the tree to the car.”


The big muscles at work.

Kathleen shared two family traditions:

“Every year at our big Christmas dinner we open Christmas crackers before dessert, which have paper crowns inside that we all put on. There’s also always a little trinket and a joke/riddle or charade topic. While we eat dessert with our crowns on we tell the joke/riddle or act out the charade. My dad always pretended to hate this tradition, but I know he secretly loved it 🙂
A second favorite tradition, although we don’t do it anymore – when I was a kid, we weren’t allowed to go downstairs to see our presents on Christmas morning until my parents were up (we always woke them up) and my dad had gone down first. My sisters and I sat at the top of the stairs, anxious and excited while my dad went downstairs…and then he would always yell up ‘Well it looks like Santa didn’t come this year!’ That was our cue to start running down the stairs and tearing open presents. One year our neighbors watched us open presents through their kitchen window and told us how entertaining they found our frenzy of gift opening!”

That’s Kathleen in the middle on the top of the stairs, awaiting the gift frenzy.

Lauren and her husband are creating new traditions:
“Tim and I’ve lost a lot of traditions since moving away from extended family. However, my husband and I have come to enjoy the traditions that we’ve been included in with our large friend group. One annual event that I really enjoy is ‘Friendsgiving.’ This is how we’ve been introduced to many of our close friends and acquaintances. It is a potluck dinner, originally started by five guys who grew up together. It’s grown to be quite large over the years, as friends invite other friends. This past year, we had between 30-40 people for dinner. The same core group is always there, but every year brings new comers. I like this tradition because it brings together people from all different backgrounds (professions, age, presence or absence of kids, cultures, and life experiences). I think it’s really neat that we get the opportunity to know and meet people that differ from us, as we can learn something from everyone. It’s a great feeling to have a network of resources to reach out to, as well. Being a couple with no children, our friends are our family.”

The beauty of traditions is found in their common factors and the warm, fuzzy feelings they provide: carving time out from our busy lives to savor time spent with loved ones, laughter, music, special recipes and shared food, and bringing forward the rituals from one generation to the next.