Quote of the Day:  opening lyrics to Dynamite Taio Cruz
I throw my hands up in the air sometimes

Saying AYO
Gotta let go
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO
Baby, let’s go

My boys like that song.  It’s peppy and happy and all about living in the moment.  Throw your hands in the air, let go, and live!  

So, we found time to play this holiday season.  My boys like to pick out things for each other that they like, and that they would like to play/share with them.

(I especially liked the gift in the middle *grin*)

Traditions, what can I say?  There’s some to keep and some to tweak.  Every year is different.  Maybe you’ve added a family member, maybe you’ve lost one.  Maybe there’s a difficult separation or illness.  Maybe you’ve moved and you can no longer get back home for the holidays.  Whatever the reason, you may find yourself in need of a new picture.

This holiday season, I determined to let go of the Norman Rockwell – everyone sitting around the tree, cozy and happy on “the day” – picture, and thought of how I could paint my own picture.  We started doing the “pickle game” a few years ago.  I hide an ornament in the tree that looks like a pickle, so it’s hard to spot. The boy who finds it gets to open a present the day before Christmas Eve (our celebration day).  I called it our “Pre-Christmas Day.”  It was great.  Eric was the first and opened a movie.  After I got the bread started and the soup on, we watched it together.  Then, Bobby opened a book (Breakthrough by Stephen Tremp) that I discovered from reading blogs.  I hope he likes it.  Next, Zach opened the game Guesstures, and Charlie opened the movie Despicable Me – a funny movie – that we watched until late.  I had to stay up anyway and bake the bread.  I started the dough a bit late in the day.  It was my first time baking bread from scratch.  Mom’s recipe.  It turned out okay.  Not as good as Mom’s – naturally.

We also played Guesstures which was so great.  We were running and laughing and grabbing for easy clues and shouting answers.  I LOVE Guesstures and I LOVE playing with my boys.  Then, Bobby came alive like he did when he was young.  He’d play a game with me, then see how it could be improved, or add something to it.  So, he invented a bonus round based on time, the faster you get the others to guess the better, and subtracting points for answering correctly, so that you gain something by guessing.  It was so fun.  I jumped and clapped and acted, and at one time, Zach said, “You’re fun!” – my best gift of the season.

I had this thought lately, that we’re wrong to cling to the sameness of life. That change is always happening.  Kids grow up.  We meet people.  We end bad relationships.  We move, and we move on.  It is the idea that things will always be the same that makes us feel hopeless.

Journaling Prompt:  What holiday traditions have you kept from childhood, and which ones have you tweaked or made on your own?