what's our tradition Mom?

My son Graham was 10 when he came home from school one afternoon and asked... "What is our family Christmas tradition mom?"  He was looking at me intently awaiting a brilliant response to something he knew we didn't really have.  Actually it was a word we didn't use at christmas time in our house.  So  I knew that at school they must of been telling stories about Christmas with family. I thought hard for a few minutes, which in itself said to me and my son that we didn't necessarily have a Christmas tradition. "How about that  we are always with family and travel at Christmas time so we can be together"?  That didn't seem to appease Graham very much.  He was still looking at me, hoping for a TRADITION story  to take back to school the next day.

I sat down with him and discussed openly that traditions aren't always as well noted in some families as others might.  You and your brother have a Ukrainian grandmother whose family came from the Ukraine and a English grandmother who was an English war bride and married a soldier from Saskatchewan. Brian is Irish/English and I am Ukrainian/English.  We celebrated none of those cultures.   I  ended meekly with the so-called tradition of... "well we always put up a real (live) tree and decorate it and we travel to visit our grandparents each year. " But, (says my eager son), what's our tradition?"


Christmas in Prince Albert 1989:  Graham and Tom were 3 and 5 when we entered  the Red River Forest to cut down our own tree. I had packed donuts and some hot chocolate for a treat after we got the tree picked and loaded in the truck.  The tree was picked and cut down but the boys were more interested in the donuts and hot chocolate and then the fighting started over the donuts so it was not a peaceful venture into the woods!  

{Red River Forest Prince Albert)

So now it is 2015 and that moment of truth is now hitting home because I have been reading about childhood memories and the joys that are portrayed in a well versed magazine article or pictures of togetherness around the world and even with my co-workers and neighbours who seem to have some kind of tradition.  Tradition means to me a culture that is practiced by ones own family on certain holidays every year.  { a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time. : the stories, beliefs ...}

So here it is! Our family tradition!   A real live tree is brought into our house, and placed in a tree stand as the needles share themselves generously about the house even before we have put a light or piece of garland on it.  Water, yes it needs water, so the sugar-water is poured into the tree stand and more needles fall into my hair.  The vacuum and broom is always at the ready for more needle "bunnies" to pick up.  I give up after a couple of days and just keep all the needles pushed under the tree skirt until after the 25th of December when, the reckoning happens, and the tree and its fir needles are thrown outside. 

I don't ever want to give up this Kirk family tradition!

Merry Christmas!

(in memory of Christmas past )


Katrina Schmidt said...

I love this post so very much. Really beautiful tradition of a real tree that stands proudly decorated in your home. Love the memory of finding the perfect tree and hot chocolate and donuts.and your boys.

Donna said...

your boys Katrina are such a blessing and everytime I see pictures of them on facebook I am filled with such happiness for you and Mike. I also know that I am so painfully wishing to do it all over again myself; but it I can relive a bit of that through your little stories that you share so beautifully with us all. I am glad you enjoyed the hot choc and donut adventure! Hugs and have a great time under the tree this year with your family.

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