12 December 2005
silent night - but certainly not here!
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When I was a kid, my family moved around a lot. Although I was born in Arizona, I grew up in New England. For a few years we lived in the foothills of the White Mountans, in New Hampshire, where I learned to ski, swear, and play trombone. We lived in a small town that in my memories is very picturesque and idyllic. Exactly how people imagine a small New England town to be. (Memory always wears rose colored glasses, doesn't she?) In this small town, people actually gathered in the small park in the center of town to sing Chrismtas carols - expanding out from the center of town to the streets outside of the center. Every year I wanted to join in, and finally my parents relented and I was allowed to join the carolers. What joy! To this day, approximately (gulp) 25 years later, this is one of my finest Christmas memories. I would love to go caroling again and I hope that my life unfolds in such a way that this wish can come true.

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Our little mixed-nationality family is still finding our traditions. We blend the Dutch and American, the Christian and the natural, and we make it up when we aren't sure what else to do. I always buy a live tree with my kids, because when I was a little squirt, my Daddy took me out in the woods and chopped down a tree with me (this is also a favorite Christmas memory!). When we decorate the tree, we have special ornaments, like the one my Mom bought with Max one year, that bring our loved ones into our home. Our stockings were all knitted by my dear friend Sara, who we all love like family. We open our gifts on Christmas Eve, partly because this is how my grandparents did it (and in this small way, I keep them alive and well in my memories). We cook a big dinner on Christmas Day because this is how my Mom always did it when we were growing up, and in the preparing of our food, I feel close to her even though she's far away. When the kids squabble, I think of how my parents made it a golden rule that no one fought or said unkind things on Christmas day, and share this wise gift with my kids. There are lots of other ways we keep our loved ones close and attempt to live our beliefs. In short, we're forging a new set of traditions, one year at a time.

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posted by mainely stitching at 8:53 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ |


  • At Tuesday, 13 December, 2005, Blogger Von

    You have such a beautiful family, Barbara! It can be quite a challenge to integrate cultures when you marry and begin your own family, but you seem to be finding a way to keep your loved ones "near" and passing along those virtues you treasure!