Monday, December 12, 2011


Over the weekend, my boys and I made Christmas cookies. It's a tradition from my childhood, when my sister and I would head over to Grandma's house (along the river creek, near the woods) to bake at least half a dozen different kinds of cookies.

I always looked forward to the day we measured, mixed, pressed, rolled, cut out, decorated, and baked. And I always ended the day with a tummyache.


It was a particularly poignant way to spend the weekend, because Grandma died this fall. And it struck me how powerful traditions can be.

They keep us connected to the past.

They give us a thread that connects us to the future.

They can be as simple or elaborate as we want them to be.

We can create new traditions as our lives change.

In many ways, they define us.

What are your favorite traditions?


  1. I'm sorry about your grandmother. Decorating the tree together is one of our traditions.

  2. I skipped my cookie swap party this year. After reading your post, I'm still going to make cookies with my boys. Thanks for the reminder of why I do it.

  3. Our family tradition is to eat apple pie on New Year's Day, apparently to bring us luck in the year ahead. I've never, ever missed a year, even when my only option was to pop to MacDonald's for one of their apple pies!

  4. My girls and I like to bake and decorate a gingerbread house (though it rarely gets eaten).

  5. I made my own tradition as my kids grew old enough not to believe in Santa. There was always a tooth brush, some type of pen light, assorted candies and something that was each child’s favorite, a cheapy little electronic game, and a wind up toy. Usually there was a very expensive something that was always too small to wrap, but that meant more than anything under the tree.

    Stockings were the treasure of Christmas; until all the kids moved out, and we all moved miles apart. The first year I didn’t attempt long distance stockings my daughter called me and said the thing she missed the most on Christmas morning was the toothbrush.

    Weird, huh?


  6. I am definitely getting to urge to bake. Be on the blogosphere for five minutes at this time of year and all you see are cookies! :-)

    We have lots of traditions, my favorite being reading T'was The Night Before Christmas right before bedtime on Christmas Eve. My dad read it to my brother and me every year, and now I read it to my kids. Only that one time each year. It's sacrosanct.

  7. We've moved such a lot we do different things all the time, but I'm trying hard to improve my baking. Your cookies look delicious and what a lovely tradition that is.