Christmas is Whenever!
When our girls were 5 and 3, hubby became a firefighter. His shift at that time was 24 hours on duty, 24 hours off duty. Period. Schedules now changed very quickly, and we couldn’t always celebrate those special times, i.e. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, on the day it actually fell on the calendar. But we adjusted, and the our two sons never have known anything different. We celebrated–whenever!!
Then, for many years, we had not one, but three firefighter schedules to work around, when both our boys followed in their daddy’s footsteps. Now shifts have changed to 24 hours on duty, 48 hours off duty. But there are traditionally three shifts to a department, A, B, C. Put the math to that!! For most of the time, at least two were on the same rotation so that helped.
Now hubby is retired, the two boys are still firefighters, at different stations, in different towns, on different shift rotations. But–we have learned, for the most part, that what makes the ‘special’ days special, is when we do finally manage to find a time that works. And we try very hard.
Late this afternoon we will gather at our youngest son’s big old farm house–all of us–have soup (oldest son always makes chili, DIL will make another kind) homemade rolls, a salad,(I bake the bread and this year made the salad) and whatever goodies we all bring (Granddaughter #1 is bringing pumpkin rolls, and her mom, the other DIL, is bringing at least three different kinds of goodies)—lots of laughs and squeals from the cousins, and long into-the-night conversations with us ‘big people’. In the morning we will have what is probably our most constant tradition–our “Christmas” breakfast (no matter that it falls on December 30 this year). Breakfast is ALWAYS–fruit slush, waffles, scrambled eggs and a special sausage . I attempted to change this menu once, several years ago, seeing all the cute ‘breakfast casserole’ menus in the magazines–and was informed by our grown sons that ‘mom it wasn’t broke…you didn’t need to fix it’. Hmm!! I guess that what makes a tradition, the sameness no matter what anyone else is doing, or when they are doing it.
After breakfast we will open gifts (unless the kids beg hard enough for us to give in and let them do it tonight) Then the rest of the day we eat on the leftovers (we always bring enough to insure we will have plenty). And no one is every ready for the day to end.
Susie was right when she stated in her post that traditions change. It does sound like an oxymoron–but I think it is more a declaration of reality. But the constant? The REASON!!
The WHO! The WHY!