Dishes in the kitchen sink. New straw for the old broom. Friends who don’t have a clue. Well-meaning teachers.

My family thrives on Tradition. Capital T intended. Well, my mom does, so she passed that trait onto us.

For the past seven or so years, since at least two of us have been old enough to purchase alcoholic beverages at the LCBO (age 19 in Ontario), we have had polar bears (1/2 oz of creme de cacao, 1/2 oz of peppermint schnapps) on Christmas eve. Anyone who was there and at least (close to) 19 was invited. I missed Christmas at home last year (missed it terribly, no sarcasm here, couldn’t afford the ticket home), so I’m not sure if the tradition was upheld, but this year, when I was spinning the lazy susan liquor cabinet around, I noticed that the schnapps was around the same height it was in 2005. So maybe last year the tradition was skipped. This year, my older sister wasn’t around on Christmas eve, so it was once again skipped.

So is it still a tradition? How many repeats are required to keep something floating in the tradition ether?

Another Christmas eve tradition in our family is new pajamas all around. That one started when we were just diaper-graduates and is still standing, even though there have been years I flat out refused to wear pink bunny pj pants and matching shirt, and demanded something useful, like gitch. (intended definition #2)

Looking back on my bratty years, I’ve gotta hand it to mom, well played. Rather than always trying to “I’m right, you’re wrong” me, she occasionally gave into my whims. Because of that, I now look back with decent amount of guilt & a commensurable amount of understanding regarding the tricky balancing act that parenting is.

So, polar bears and pajama consternations aside, I like traditions. Lensless has a good one , but I like anything music-centric, and anything more specifically Mountain-Goats-centric, and even more specifically My-Favourite-Song-by-Mountain-Goats-centric.

I bet 43 things has a whole pile of generic traditions (like the annual guilt list)

My highschool boyfriend and I had a New Year’s tradition involving listening to U2 and writing everything we felt bad about from the previous year on a piece of paper, then burning it by the Trent river. Letting go of previous year’s guilt inducing actions and non-actions is probably the most important thing I learned from that relationship.

“Some moments last forever but some flare out with love love love”

Title credits: Broom People – The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree
Endquote Credits: Love love love – ibid.


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