Christmas is all about it, of course -- and so is New Year's Eve. Tradition.
Tradition. Not Jewish tradition. Not here, anyway. Pretty thoroughly Catholic tradition at our house. For instance, today was always a fast and abstinence day for us -- a fast before the feast day. Today we prepare for the feast of the Circumcision, the day on which Jesus officially received His Holy Name. Kind of a big day in the Church -- in the history of the world! And so, in the strictest traditions, Catholics fast and abstain -- no meat. We've rather relaxed our observance of this in recent years for various reasons, but the meatless tradition has stuck... I'll get to how that is in a minute.
But, first, along with the Church observances, we have about a bazillion family traditions at our house, too. As all families do. But especially as numerically blessed families seem to! Why is that, you ask? What's with that, you ask? How did all the traditions get started? Ehhh.. As Tevye says, "I don't know."
But here's what goes on around here in the dangly last few hours of every year:
We always have board games going -- card games, too, but today this day it was Monopoly, and Grandma apparently "kicked everybody's butt," (This according to William, who said she did seem to feel bad about it anyway...)
And you'll notice there's a jigsaw puzzle in the making. The children get one
pretty much every Christmas and Grandpa helps them assemble it before he leaves
shortly after New Year's. It's tradition. Also tradition, the scramble to get it out of the way
in time for New Year's Eve dinner!
Because that's the biggest deal of all, the special New Year's Blow Out Meal, courtesy of Dan's parents. Since we traditionally observed this day as a Vigil Day (as I mentioned), we've gone back and forth over the years between meatless enchiladas and cioppino. This year was a cioppino year -- and, oh. my. goodness. We all agree that this may be the best seafood feast yet!
Sharon outdid herself! Smell that Ocean Goodness?
(Try not to gag, Nicole... gglggl)
Everyone got to crack open their king crab legs and fish out the yumminess...
Grandpa (Dan) is a pro!
Grandma (Sharon) and my Dan know what they're doing.
The girls have it figured out!
Not so much.
And, now as I sit here typing, we're watching Princess Bride. It's tradition. After Princess Bride, the kids will watch Shrek with Grandpa. Tradition. Dan and I will go to bed like we always do -- It's tradition. We're old fuddy-duds that way (and someone has to be alert to get the troops going for morning Mass tomorrow!) The children will play Bingo with special Grandpa prizes, and they'll stay up until midnight, wear silly hats, blow on horns, have a glass of sparkling apple juice, and go straight to bed. Tradition. And they'll all wake up tired tomorrow. Tired and grumpy. Tradition.
What is not traditional this year is how short-handed we are for our New Year's Eve party. Dominic had to work today and is sick tonight, so is missing out in order to go to bed early. My sister who's usually here had to go home last weekend; Michelle who's living in California near her fiancee had to leave last weekend, too; Paul is stationed in Florida with Nicole and the children and couldn't make it home this year; Kevin is in Denver and couldn't make it due to work; Frater Philip is at the seminary where they pray for the rest of us as we put the old year to bed and wake up the new year. Deo Gratias for them! But we miss Frater and all the children as we go through the familiar old New Year's routine.
In the meantime, ((Hugs)) and prayers for blessings for all our friends and family, far and near, and our best wishes for all good things, but mostly that Christ reigns in our homes and families and that Mary's Immaculate Heart triumphs over the forces of evil in our world. Happy New Year, everyone!