Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Everyone has them, those yearly traditions that are carried out come hell or highwater. This year I started a new one of baking a different cookie each weekday two weeks before Christmas. Last night I attempted biscotti, it tastes great, but they could dub as jawbreakers. When Dearest asked me what to do with them, I told him to throw them outside, we might off a couple racoons that try to eat them by breaking their teeth. We didn't do that. Much as I hate racoons, I have never harmed one other than a swift broom to their backsides. Anyhow, a more successful Christmas tradition we have is making an annual ornament. This tradition was started by Dearest grandmother, who gave an ornament to her DILs upon their marriage one for every year showing the significant events of that year. Only my MIL carried it on and 40 years in marriage, they don't need much else on their tree. She passed it on to us, making only the first year of our marriage. I don't know if my SIL does it, but I do.

Our first year which was our marriage, we also bought the house which is the base, and a little bead at the top signified buying our puppy Shenanigans.

This is year two which signifies our first anniversary. I admit, I dropped the ball and actually forgot to make the ornament that year, so bought this one.

This was our third year, which was a road trip out to the east and I went back to school. Look at that gorgeous model display hand as well. Such elegant fingers!

Wow, year four already. We went to Vancouver that year, and I graduated from my college program. 4.0 GPA I might add!

Year 5, our fifth anniversary. The star is for Dearests business taking off. We went camping with our doggies that year and Shenanigans turned 5, Banzai turned 10.

Year 6. We had a big year as we added Mister Ninja to the family. There is a hockey stick on that business card, which was important because after a giant strike, hockey returned. I remember, because the first game was at the same time as a wedding of Dearests cousin and he kept sneaking out to the bar to catch the score. I was also mega pregnant at that wedding and there were NO SEATS at the reception for a good 2 hours. Anyhow, side rant over, the Canadian flag has the words NDP written on it, which signified we actually won some seats in the House of Commons. Yes Canadians, I am NDP, a big one! Anyone outside of Canada unless they have some sort of sick fascination with Canadian politics won't care. The business card was to signify that our business was doing uber well. We were being paid and not borrowing money from our ILs to buy a new furnace, or face freezing to death. We had won a big account and got a lovely investment, times were good. See that gorgeous Joy ornament in the background? I made that, with my own two hands. I was once an avid and pretty skilled cross stitcher. Then I had kids.

This was a bittersweet year. Banzai passed away. He was our first dog together and an amazing friend and his death hit us very hard. We did have positive things happen. I started a moms group which has given me several amazing friends whom I love dearly. We also took a trip out east with our wee one. You never really see how friendly Canada is until you travel with a cute baby. We had the people at the security check in Montreal fighting over who got to hold the baby.

Year 8, we had another baby! A Dude joined us late in the year. We went to the cottage. We went to several hockey games (not sure why I don't have something to signify that on the ornament). One hockey game we went with a friend who is normally a very prim and lovely gentleman. Really! Folks are surprised when they see him in jeans. Anyhow, we learned that this friend is also intensely competitive and lost all decorum leaping over/crashing into me to high five Dearest when the Leafs scored a goal late in the game.

Year 9. We went up to the cottage again. We also went to Las Vegas with our friends, which was an insane amount of fun. We were having so much fun I forgot to buy something for the ornament, which is why Viva is written on there. Mister Ninja started school which is the ABCs, while A Dude was growing a mile a minute. The big giant church looking thing...well that's our new home. It was the closest thing I could find that looked like our home. A Dude was also baptised that year so it doubles! Aren't I a genius? Annnnd, we're a pair of political junkies so for those of you who don't recognize that red, white and blue symbol was the logo for the Obama camp. That was 2008 so we know he actually won.

Year 10. Well it was our tenth anniversary hence the big 10 there. We celebrated by getting insanely great tickets for our favourite band U2. The hockey skate is for Mister Ninja taking his first skating lessons. A rite of passage for every Canadian kid, since their parents start envisioning their kid hoisting the Stanley Cup over their head some day. The red thing on the side is meant to be a stilletto. That was the first year that the White Ribbon Campaign first launched Walk a Mile in her shoes. Dearest has been on the board of Directors for umpteen years and did the walk. It also raised a nice sum of money. The dolphin is to signify our trip to Florida-how I wish I were there now...seriously Decemeber in Canada, not nice! The little shoes signify A Dude FINALLY walking. He was 19-20 months old. My back thanked him in spades. It's hard to see, but there is a crystal hanging from the bottom of it. Dearest won Humanitarian of the Year with the National Advertising Benevolent Society for his work with White Ribbon. Our crazy Las Vegas friend, the female half swiped a crystal off one of the centrepieces and gave it to me to use for the ornament. The little bean is because late that year, like in Decemeber, we discovered that we were expecting another crazy dude on the way.

And year 11. This year. Dearest having sold his business has moved on. He's spent a bit of time meeting peopel in coffee shops and working from there, hence the little patio table. Mister Ninja started taking drama. There is a little schoolhouse on the ornament as A Dude started school this year. The barrel is to signify our trip to Niagara Falls, which was actually really amazing for the kids. There is a baby decoration across the middle and my mug shot is pasted on because I have finally got my G license (For those who don't know, Ontario has a graduated driving system, G being the goal for drivers driving things like cars) and will never ever have to parallel park again.  I think some physicist has proven that it's impossible to parallel park an Odyssey anyhow. Really! They did!

So there you have it, our Christmas tradition. I'm not one who is terribly big on traditions for the sake of tradition, but I'm glad I kept this up. Seeing my IL Christmas tree year after year being a chronical of their lives together is something special. Their grandkids love hearing about it and decorating the tree with the handmade ornaments. So I'm hoping we'll have the same to look back on in 30 years.


Cheryl said...

That is such a great idea!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome tradition Joy! I loved seeing all the ornaments and hearing the story behind them.

Pamela in Calgary said...

Joy, what a great idea this is, and it's nice to see you continuing the tradition. I've always bought a Christmas ornament for each family member each year, but this really captures the whole "year in review".

Thanks for sharing!

Joy said...

You're welcome. I'm so glad Dearests grandmother started this tradition, it makes for such an interesting Christmas tree and it's always fun to revisit with the ornaments.