christmas cheer

>> December 23, 2008

A few years ago my family revamped our holiday traditions.

We actually didn't grow up making a big deal out of Christmas. Besides being church-mouse poor, we were rather counter-culture. If the whole world out there did it, then we usually didn't.

That changed about the time I became a teenager. We started getting a tree, giving gifts, and getting out of control. Well, not really out of control... but you know what I mean.
So four years ago, we corporately decided to change gears. Instead of presents, we wanted to create other family traditions. That year "the boys" (dad, my husband, and my sister's fiance) built a quilting frame. Then "the girls" worked together on an heirloom quilt in ivory satin and chocolate taffeta - to a marathon of old Christmas movies.

The next year, we painted each others' profiles/silhouettes on large canvasses. They've been hanging in our respective homes ever since.

Last year, dad got "the boys" each a .22 rifle and took them to the woods to teach them how to shoot. (We're all vegetarians, so no innocent animals die.) But they all love their annual tradition of target practice. It's their man-thing while the girls cook Christmas dinner. Before they all have to wash the dishes!

Our family is stronger for saying goodbye to materialistic holiday obsessions. And our wallets thank us kindly. I only hope that we can somehow help the next generation to understand...


Mindy January 2, 2009 at 9:29 AM  

I absolutely love this idea. Just not sure how I would get the rest of my family (parents and in-laws) on board, I couldn't even talk them in to only exchanging gifts with the kids this year.

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