Every Christmas Eve we have our traditions in our family. We go to my mom’s for dinner. On the way home we pick up Dunkin Donuts for Christmas morning breakfast. And when we tuck the kids into bed, we read, The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. I can’t remember the year we started reading this story before bed, but it’s been ongoing for at least ten. Now, with three teenagers in the house, I wonder for how many more years it’ll continue.
As in years past, we also made our Christmas cookies last night. Our violent Christmas cookies.[see Christmas Cookie Call of Duty] This year my husband even added a new twist, Christmas sushi cookies. I know! Bleck.
As I watched my kids practically make the cookies by themselves yesterday, I was reminded of all the times I asked myself if I were nuts for even attempting it, when they could barely reach the countertop, when there was more egg and flour on them than in the bowl. Even though last night the boys did manage a tablespoon flour fight (Fun times!) I realized, once again, in spite of the groaning and rolled eyes, that these traditions are important. They mean something. The kids, I hope, will take the traditions, or at least just the memories of the traditions, with them when they move on into their own lives.
So tonight, even though I know these traditions can come to an end, [A Christmas Eve Carol: a family tradition ends] and when it comes to Christmas cookie sushi maybe the sooner the better, but when it comes time to “tuck them in" to bed tonight, we probably will read The Night Before Christmas again. And I know it will be more about indulging their mother and her love of tradition than for any real need to hear that story one more time. But I harbor a secret hope, that maybe reading that story one more time will be about them loving their traditions, too.