Wrapping Up the Holidaze: Traditions Part 2

Happy New Year, Peeps.

This new year presented itself as the first in my memory where I did not make it until midnight. Never a good sleeper, I have made it to midnight to ring in the new year every year since childhood. But the efforts in nursing a baby and raising a toddler led to a TKO this NYE, for me and my spouse. Kids:1 Parents:0.

I promised a follow up on traditions, and so I’d like to share the two that my young family have created.

The first started at my oldest’s first Christmas. I am not big on giving people gifts “just because.” And by this I mean, “I want to give you a gift because I love you but I don’t have a ton of cash so here is a scented candle.” Nobody needs another scented candle.

I also wanted these gifts to be a meaningful representation of love, and Christmas. I wanted them to be from my child.

Now, each year, my child-and now children-give a donation to an organization that represents their current interests. These gifts are “In honor of” and the response from family and friends has been extremely positive! This year, the girls are into Cinderella. I translated this into a donation to the “Make a Wish Foundation.”

Do the kids get it? I’d love to say “Oh, yes!” Honestly? Ummm, not yet. My 2 1/2 year old did understand the part of making a dream come true. (It’s Bibbity Boppity Booo, Mamma!) But they WILL, and when they are old enough, they will each choose their own organization, and, hopefully, their own funds (someday) to this yearly tradition.

The second is a new take on “The Feast of the Seven Fishes.” I’m Italian, and on Christmas Eve, I grew up sitting down to a grand feast of seven fish dishes.

Two generations later, my family has become the host to less-than-enthusiastic seafood eaters on Christmas Eve. What to do? Switch it up! It is now our tradition to improvise with “fish inspired” cuisine in addition to two actual seafood dishes. This year, we had Goldfish Crackers, Phish Food Ice Cream, and fish shaped chocolate amongst our edibles. Next year? Who knows!

I’ll be back soon to say what’s up to 2014.

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