Saturday, 29 December 2012

Family traditions

I'll never forget something my husband said last year... I was complaining that despite my family tradition being a lunchtime Christmas dinner with nibbles in the evening, I was forced to produce a huge meat fest of a breakfast on Christmas day and then have a late dinner which basically means cooking ALL day as that was HIS family tradition. When I finally shushed, my husband looked at me and said calmly "what's your last name?" ....
I was left speechless! Then I didn't know whether to scream and sock him one, or to laugh!

It's funny how traditions start, and just how long they can carry on.  My family on my darling dads side all used to get together the last Sunday before Christmas for a big brunch.  All the kids would be there, and their partners as we got older, and the table would be covered with disposable paper cloth so that the felt pens and crayons would come out along with the silly games after the first round of food was done and we would all doodle and scribble for hours! I think we all looked forward to this - even as sullen teenagers!  Things changed the year my dad died though, and although we promised him we'd go ahead (it was our familys turn to host and cook the brunch) and I promised that I'd cook, it was a really strange day. No one said it, but it just wasn't right without dad. It was him that was the centre of it all without a shadow of a doubt.  The next couple of years my lovely uncles and their families took their turns but I'm pretty sure it was our turn this year. My mum never mentioned it, and no one else did, and it didn't happen. I talked about it with my husband and we kept the day free just in case but I didn't dare mention it to my mum. I think it would have been too hard.  So I guess that's a tradition that lived and passed with my dad.  It will always be really special, and we have fantastic giggle filled memories, but it's done.

Me and my dad at mine and Mr LFCC's wedding in 2008
I think I've inadvertantly started a few traditions of my own with my lovely husband and the teenager as my family are big on Christmas in a way that their family just aren't.  Stockings MUST have a sugar mouse, chocolate coins, and a Terry's Chocolate Orange (it's not Terry's, it's mine) and a stupid toy of some sort that you can either shoot, make an annoying noise with, or race, and there should be bubbles!  When I talked about stockings this year and gave the usual options for Christmas (1) just cash, nothing to open 2) stocking with small pressies plus some cash or 3) stocking with small pressies and one more substantial pressie our teenager was horrified at the idea of not having a stocking. We were in a lucky position to be able to give her some pennies to buy things for her impending move out of her little boat, Loki, into a shared house along with her boyfriend but when we said that we could do this, her little face feel for a moment, she went quiet, and then almost whispered "but I will still have my stocking, won't I?"...!

For us it's always been about the sentiments and thought behind things than spending a lot of money - my mum used to spend months creating our Christmas presents and she made the most amazing things. My Barbie doll had a huge and luxurious four poster bed she made, I sat upon the most stunning burgundy velvet tub chair she made, and I dressed up in a full sized clown suit from the clown she made that was the same height I was. She never disappointed, and I am glad to say that I can honestly tell you that even as a kid when we can be rather more shallow than we'd rather probably admit to, I was so happy to have those things rather than store bought alternatives.  I can only hope that the  people who found Christmas presents for their loved ones here in my little floating boutique on the riverbank were met with the same love when the paper was torn away!  I would love to know how they went down if anyone feels like sharing?

So now my thoughts turn to the New Year, and I wonder what it will bring. I'm genuinely curious. I never imagined this time last year, how busy LFCC would be by now, and how many times my crafty words would have been published, or the kind words I've received from generous floaty people all over the world.  I'm sat here, with the knowledge that my family are happy (for the most part) and that I do all I can for those around me, so I think I can head towards the New Year with a smile! That is, if Kevin the cat stops scratching me in his attempts to ge fussed! lol!