It wasn’t intended to be a Christmas tradition and yet because it took place over several years when my brother, sister and I were young, it became a tradition.
In our house in Norwalk, California, the kitchen was separated from the bedrooms by the living room. The living room held the Christmas tree and it was one of our traditions for Santa to bring unwrapped gifts that were put under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. Not unusal of course. Except that it posed a problem.
My mother adamantly insisted we three kids eat breakfast before opening our gifts. She knew if we didn’t, our behavior would deteriorate because of low blood sugar and we’d be too distracted by our gifts to eat. As a result, we had to go to the kitchen to eat.
The problem? To go to the kitchen, we had to go through the livingroom where the Christmas tree held the unwrapped presents. It wouldn’t do to have us see our gifts.
So somehow someone thought of the idea of our father and our Uncle Frank carrying us from the bedroom to the ktichen with a blanket over our heads so that we couldn’t see. Then in the kitchen we would quickly gobble down our Malt-O-Meal and then head for the tree. Of course, only after Mother had turned on the bright lights of the movie camera.
For years, we were carried through the living room and it became a fun experience and a looked-forward-to-event.
Certainly, no one thought this would become a tradition nor that we would speak fondly of it every Christmas. But that’s how traditions are. Most of them are not planned and we may even be surprised that a particular happening became a fond memory.
Are you sometimes concerned that you don’t have Christmas traditions? Let me assure you that you have more than you realize. Be confident that memories are being created. And they’ll be spoken of in years to come.