Pajama Enforcement

Today’s post comes to us from Crystal Bay.

Like VS’s friend from last week, when my children were little, I’d search for matching pjs every Christmas. I wanted to photograph them together looking really cute, then use the pictures for holiday cards. Back then, matching pjs of different sizes were hard to come by because clothing sizes only came in age groupings: infants to toddler, toddler to elementary school, junior to adult.  This forced me to go to three different departments in hopes that each one just might have the same pj in the next size up. Now, whole family sets are available, from infants to grown men.

After scoring (when I could), the next challenge was to get my three kids to put them on just for a photo shoot. They wanted nothing to do with fulfilling my desire for matching children.  I cajoled them, bribed them with treats, got angry at them, and sometimes even said that I’d pay them. The age at which they became uncooperative was around six.  I’ll never know whether their obstinacy was due to not wanting to look alike, or due to them knowing how badly I wanted to show them off.

Moving this tradition up another generation, my daughter skipped matching pjs when her five kids were little and started buy them when they were teenagers. For five years running, she’s spent a fortune buying each matching pjs, including a pair for herself. Each Christmas, they not only don them, they spend the whole day in them! This year, they even wore them all day at my son’s house. We always gather there because he has the largest home of all of us.

Maybe her success is because they identify with being a big brood. The older they get, the closer they’ve become to one another and to their mom. In my child-rearing days, my kids were closer to me when they were not yet teenagers. I can no more picture my kids spending all of Christmas day in matching pjs than I can imagine walking a mile in sub-zero weather!

What tradition will you be “enforcing” in 2018?

28 thoughts on “Pajama Enforcement”

  1. I will box up all the Babar books and send them to son and daughter in law. They have chosen elephants as a decorative motif for their son’s room, and now the third generation of our family will read about Babar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know some view Babar as a reflection of a paternalistic, male-centric, and socially static world in which everyone has their place and stays there, but despite all that, we have always loved those books.


  2. I love this picture. And I love it that the young adults have taken on this tradition as their own. I’m currently living in that Badlands of landscape with a young adult who can’t quite fledge because she is still living at home. This means that a lot of the traditions that we had when she was younger have fallen by the wayside. Except for apple picking and some of our actual holiday activities, a lot of the things we used to do together have faded away. And I think that’s okay. I was happy that this year she decided she wanted to come with me to pick out the Christmas tree . she hasn’t done that for a few years.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Young adults often have a love/hate relationship with family traditions. The same kid who rolls her eyes and mocks some family tradition will sometimes get sappy and nostalgic about that tradition when he or she is old enough to be comfortable with independence issues. I feel like saying “you can’t win” on issues like this, but that’s too negative. Maybe the best approach is to try to set up traditions but not get unpleasant about enforcing compliance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed Steve. When YA was little I really went overboard with themed birthday parties and fun outings and activities because I knew my time was limited. I knew she’d grow up, she’d need to be independent and I’d need to let go.


  4. Some colleges enjoy styling themselves as Ofordian. There’s a tradition at Oxford of celebrating the feast of the Boar’s Head. My college (Grinnell, in Iowa) fancied itself as Oxfordian, and some buildings were copies of buildings in Oxford. Students didn’t rebel at English architectural cliches, but did object to the effort to celebrate the Feast of the Boar’s Head because it seemed so phony.

    Each year student contempt for this faux-Medieval feast increased until it peaked in my senior year. The Boar’s Head feast involves eating by candlelight (which provided excellent cover for drunks) while drinking “mead” that was actually apple cider (which resembles urine in the dark). My last Boar’s Head Feast at Grinnell involved many drunks, much urine and enough chaos to put a permanent end to the “tradition” of celebrating that feast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s something worth remembering Steve. When you don’t grow up with a tradition and suddenly someone else’s tradition is foisted upon you, it might be a little harder to take that tradition on.


      1. I think that the single greatest holiday tradition problem is blended families. With each new marriage comes the “outsider’s” family traditions to blend. Then, holidays become even more difficult when divorces start splitting up the allotted child custody time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My sister and I made rosettes on Christmas Eve this year, something we used to do decades ago. It had to be on Christmas Eve for optimal freshness of the finished product. You can’t really make them a week or two in advance.

    For many years we dropped it, mostly because of our work schedules, This year I happened to be off on Christmas Eve, because it fell on a Sunday and the flower shop is closed on Sundays. When I found out my sister was going to be off on Christmas Eve too, I suggested digging out the rosette irons, and she agreed to it. We did it at her house, since the kitchen is bigger and you need some space for spreading out the cooling rosettes.

    My b-i-l is pretty negative about fried foods, so he wasn’t terribly on board with it. He did sample a couple of rosettes, but objected to the smell of hot oil that pervaded the house, and immediately lighted a stick of incense on the kitchen counter to try to neutralize it. The smell of incense mingling with fryer oil…not the best combination.

    I will probably be working on Christmas Eve next year. It’s possible this was the last rosette-production year. If we do make them in future years, I think it will be at my house.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This year, between workload and wisdom teeth we did not get any decorations up until mid-December and almost no Christmas baking got done.

    We made a pact that next year, we will return to the December 1 household holiday kick-off and I will get some of the treats started well in advance so we actually have something for Christmas 2018.

    The s&h returned to Carleton yesterday, and was a little sad to go. I think he is looking forward to classes, but thinks he will miss our tiny, messy nest.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I developed a tradition over the years to take time off in December to recoup my energy and renew myself for the next 12 months. It is a misconception that the December holidays are the toughest time of year for people and their mental health. It is after the holidays that I get the busiest and need to be strong and rested.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Me too. Although this year my busy season is pushed up some so I did have to do some work even when Nonny was here but it wasn’t too bad. I normally don’t do any hard lifting in December as I try to get everything done ahead of time. I got burned badly by lack of time at the holidays as a young married and never want to repeat that experience.


  8. This is a little more mundane, but I want a tradition where Husband and I haul out the Shop-Vac once a month and catch all the corners that collect dust bunnies, etc. This used to happen spontaneously in R’dale (well, maybe not monthly), and has fallen by the way since moving, which I discovered with a jolt as I prepared the house for Toddler’s visit.


    1. So sorry. It’s actually from Crystal Bay. I’ve now fixed it but clearly when it’s my month , it takes me a few days to get back into the swing of things doesn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. OT: tomorrow I go under the knife. It’s just plastic surgery with local anesthesia, but you know . . . they’re gonna be cutting into me tomorrow, and I’m not very casual about that. Since I am “getting some work done” it would be nice to come out looking like George Clooney. My doc is setting the bar FAR lower than that, like he hopes I end up looking like SG as I was a few years ago, before one eyelid went rogue. Actually, it went basset hound. Anyway, I won’t be posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m assuming they are doing both eyelids while they’re at it? Good luck, Steve. One of my friends had it done a couple of years ago. She looked like she had been in a fight for a few days.


  10. I’ve been hearing underwriting announcements on public radio for PajamaGram, a company whose specialty is matching pajamas for people and pets. I was sort of mystified by it, but now I understand. Matching pajamas is a thing for some people. Hence the boutique company springing up to fill the need.

    I have to wonder about their photos of the families with the pets wearing the pajamas, though. Do they actually have cats that will pose calmly wearing pajamas, or do they photoshop them in?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Linda, I think you should try a cat pajama tradition starting next Christmas. Buy pajamas for all your cats and then take a picture. It will make for a great blog post.


        1. Buy one, dress up each cat in order, then photo shop them as though they were posing together. Probably easier than dressing up three cats and trying to get them to sit simultaneously.

          Liked by 1 person

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