Bright lights, inflatable yard decor, and fancy wreaths on the door….
Broadway shows, bell choirs, christmas movies, and more….
Before the turkey has even been given a chance to digest, our anticipation for the Christmas Holiday begins.
However, unlike the traditions of my own youth… and even further from the traditions of my parents/grandparents youth, our focus has changed. Its about “keeping up with the Jones's”, so to speak. Do we have the newest and best chaser lights? Do we have the fanciest tree? Have we stood in long lines to assure our precious children have the latest electronics? Have we attended the best shows of the season? Does our family Christmas photo card put others to shame?
….And most importantly, is it possible to find a bigger Santa Clause than the 30 foot inflatable one next door?
While I too, am slowly finding myself transitioning into the new trend, I still try to hold tight to the old ones. The only problem is that the same little people that Im trying to leave a lasting impression on, are the same little people that are fighting my nostalgia!!
This season, I've found myself frustrated with the eye rolls, while I dance festively around the kitchen singing “Rockin around the Christmas tree”… URGING them to swing their backsides to the beat along with me. My patience is being tested further, after having to shoo them out of their rooms, and remove the electronics that they seem to have physically glued to their fingertips…just so I wouldnt take them. I begged for them to bake cookies with me, wrap presents with me, sing with me, color with me…..Just show some sign that they recognized that I was there!!!
As usual, after constantly pestering, whining…and then finally bribing them, I did acquire the attention I desired. It cost me a mere 45 dollars in repayment the next day, as we all settled in with the largest buckets of popcorn to watch the new version, of the old movie Annie! I tried to pay them back by rolling my eyes a little, pretending that I would rather be sitting around the Christmas tree, singing carols and crocheting popcorn decorations to put on our live tree… but they saw right through me.
After I sang my way through the parts I remembered, cryed through the Jamie Foxx lyrics that cut to the core, and crammed popcorn down my throat, until it began to come back up…. I looked down at my kids and smiled. It wasnt such a bad tradition was it? Are these the moments that they will try to impress upon their own children?
I began to see things through their eyes for a minute, and started to reflect on my own selfish, new age desires, that stretched beyond singing Christmas carols at the old folks home. Wasn't it just a week ago that I finally fulfilled my life long dream of seeing the Trans Siberian Orchestra?
It seems like I spent my whole early adult life dreaming of what it would be like to attend such a show! I pictured a giant CLASSY orchestra, with eclectic head banging, electric guitar players strumming alongside. The pyrotechnics would be uncomparable, and the the music would be a step above the boring old orchestras that I had pictured thus far! In those days…it was only a dream…
This year, I had a chance to “keep up with the Jones's AND the Smithes's. Finally, I had worked hard enough to earn the money to put myself amongst this class of people.
With a black cocktail dress, sheer leggings, red high heels, red lips, Sildapia earrings, my good GUESS coat, that I got on clearance a few years back, and with a new date on my arm, my dream had finally arrived…..
Except…it wasn't as I had always pictured!…
I was drinking wine out of a fancy plastic cup as we settled into our perfect seats, and I realized that I may have been overdressed….
I watched in silence as I watched the Nelson brothers…the same twin brothers that I loved in the nineties…swing their hair, and jam their guitars, back to back, to the sweetest, cutest Christmas songs.
I watched as the ladies from HOOTERS tried their best to remember the choreography that they waited a lifetime to perform.
I watched the people in the front few rows, as they tried to head bang, but also tried to sway their heads and light their lighters…confused, but yet somehow enlightened, by what was happening…..
…and then I giggled! Was this for real?!
While it wasn't what I had expected, it was a perfect night! It was still great music, I had the best, fun loving companion, and I still got to dress up!! I had fulfilled a dream, and yet had adamently decided not to start a new tradition of watching this show!
I looked over at my children again, and realized how much they make me think. Traditions will stay traditions as long as someone has the desire to carry them on. I too, moved on from my own parents traditions. I kept the ones I liked, and dreamed for new ones to come.
As each new person enters into our lives…as each new technology is created…and as each new child reaches their teenage years, there is an opportunity to embrace something new. So, while I will still hold tight to the traditions that strengthen this family, I will try hard to open my heart to something new!!
How about you?;)