Friday, December 24, 2010


Today is Christmas Eve. In our family that means that my son is in charge of the kitchen. Not a bad tradition! I can hear the dishwasher going as I type. We came up with this tradition because I was a working mother- well we all are, but I went back to work full time outside the home when my son started middle school.We were attempting to establish new traditions for our new family. The first couple of years, I would get home from work on Xmas Eve, tired, but I would fix dinner and attempt to go to the movies with my husband and my son. We had the beginnings of a lovely tradition, but as most traditions do, it needed some tweaking to become just right for us.

 I worked in a huge grocery store. I would finish the midnight shift on the 23rd, and then go back in and work the day shift on the 24th. By the time we closed the store at 6:00 pm, took care of all the customers, and allowed the teammates a few minutes to grab that last item, it was often close to7:00 by the time I got to my car.I would drive home, tired. So, the next year we decided that we would just have pizza for dinner, and if I called home just before I headed to the car, it could go in the oven. We also decided that Xmas day was a good time for a movie if I wanted to stay awake. My son had begun  the habit of baking cookies while I was at work, and so that grew to include the pizza, and then to include his being in charge of the kitchen. He would wait for me to call, and by the time I got home, changed my clothes, and sat down in my recliner to put my feet up dinner would be ready and he would serve Mom and Dad. Then he would finish his cookie baking, while Mom and Dad wrapped presents in their room. It became a lovely way to spend the evening.About the time the gifts were wrapped, the cookies were done, and the three of us would have time together enjoying warm cookies and cold milk. The dishwasher would run again as the plate for Santa was prepared, and then our family would be snuggled in our beds.

We are, once again, in the process of allowing our traditions to evolve to fit our circumstances. This year it is just the two of us once again. This year Mom is again an at home Mom. Because of my health, I am no longer able to stand on my feet and check out hundreds of customers a day, in fact I am no longer able to work outside the home. Because of financial problems this year, there won't be any gift wrapping. But, we will be able to share our kitchen traditions. Today, my son is in charge of the kitchen, and our house is filled with the wonderful aromas of years gone by mixed with a new aroma. My cookie baker makes 2 different recipes every year. He makes the original recipe that he brought home from school all those years ago, and then he bakes a new recipe-either a recipe he has created, or one that caught his eye in a magazine or on the back of the packaging from one of his ingredients. This year the new recipe involves cinnamon chips, and we are eagerly looking forward to trying them.

I hope that you and those you care about have traditions.Traditions are an important way to bridge the gap between generations, to enlarge your tent and bring new people into the circle of your hearts.Traditions are an important way to share memories, to make memories, and to anticipate new memories the next time you act upon the tradition.Tradition is a way that our families, our friends,our communities can stay connected one to another.Tradition can be the way that we remember what it is to love and to be loved. In our house, a boy who was born blessed by autism did not have the ability to tell us with words that he loved us, so he learned to bake cookies.

Peace and Blessings,

1 comment:

Roy Durham said...

dear bell. i feel like i now you, althow we have never met. i like what you have wrote. i am new to bloging. i am dyslectic well i can't spell very good. i am maried to the same women for 43 years, and now she has alzhemiers. i have wrote some things on my blog i think you mite like. if you have a email address i could send the to i will . or you can visit my blog at http// my email is

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