Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Countdown to the Big Day Traditions Old and New

Every Christmas as a parent it comes home to me how very important traditions are.  Whether you have a Home Alone kind of family, or Love Actually, or some other version, Christmas season can be challenging. Wanting to make a great Christmas, especially for the little ones, but still maintaining fiscal control but not have to worry about how the hydro gets paid in January can be tough if we get caught in the commercialism.

I am just as want as anyone else to try and buy way too much for a little person who really doesn't lack for anything in terms of material goods, but instilling life lessons about sharing and charity is less popular with him  at this time of year.

We went to the Legislative building this weekend for the Open House, and while he wasn't excited to go at the beginning I think he enjoyed the lights, trees and goodies. this usually occurs the first Saturday of December and is free to all.   The protestors outside the building  while not festive was a good lesson in democracy in action, we are lucky to live in a place where people get to express their views without fear of police retribution or job loss.

Our collected family is always central in our traditions. Due to losses of family through death, etc... I have built a collected family for us and we are grateful to have them to share all the holidays with. the week before Christmas,  Christmas Eve all have routines and traditions, up to and including some people watching Home Alone 2, and yelling out some of the lines such as "Merry Christmas ya filthy animal" and then laughing uproariously.

I think the strongest tradition our little family has is gingerbread making.  We use my mom's failproof recipe for every season but Christmas most of all.  This year we are incorporating new cookie cutters for moose and ugly sweaters, tradition goes modern! Here is the classic recipe from our house to yours!

Gingerbread Men

2 cups flour
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses

Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt 3 times.  Add to creamed margarine, sugar, egg and molasses. Knead ( chilling for 30 minutes helps too) , roll out and make it fairly thin.  Cut out in desired shapes and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit util just beginning to brown. 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. These freeze really well. When we were children we decorated with raisins for eyes and buttons.
old picture but shows our artistic efforts

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