Ask Me Why

If you asked YA if traditions were important to her, she would emphatically say “No”. So ask me why I am making a whole batch of iced sugar cookies in the shapes of leaves this week (and airbrushed in autumn colors)?  Or trying to find the iconic green bean casserole recipe for Thanksgiving day?  Or why we’re going to get a tree on Black Friday, even though I’m going out of town two days later?

Any traditions you’d like to leave by the wayside?

41 thoughts on “Ask Me Why”

  1. i had to laugh. my mom brought over the frozen turkey my sister got as a freebie for being a costco employee ( from 2nd grade teacher to cart wrangler) and in the bag with the turkey was a can of green beans. she asked if we already had our can of green beans or if we could use a second ?
    i told her i think we are up to 8 cans now. we discovered you can not make too much green bean casserole
    sweet potatoes are always left over
    wild rice green salad always need to be pushed before they turn but mashed potatoes green beans and turkey there is never too much

    ones to leave by the wayside? how about that colonoscopy every 3 years?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We have a lot of food traditions, especially involving Christmas baking. Daughter and son insist on certain cookies. I love to make stollen and klaben. I left behind the fuss of gravy by getting jats of William Sonoma gravy. It is wonderful. We always have a fresh tree.

    I do not insist our children make it home for the holidays. I would rather we travel to them, and they appreciate that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Renee, I saw your L-E-F-S-E (hah, take that autocorrect!) comment at the end of yesterday. The lefse we sampled in Oslo was puffy and slightly sweet, served only with butter (no sugar). The baker said it had buttermilk as an ingredient. I liked it much better than the recipe my mother-in-law made, which came straight from Norway. I just don’t remember which province the puffy, buttermilk variety originated from.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    The one I wanted to leave behind the most finally died several years ago. That was our family gathering for Christmas and exchanging gifts. It had become an exchange of gift cards or stuff I did not want. Further it became a stressful drive, because once my mother became unable to travel, we were always the family on the road. It just did not work anymore and finally it drifted off. We do gather at Thanksgiving which makes for a wonderful day of extended family, playing games, and there are no gifts that no one wants. It also seems to work in everyone’s schedule without a lot of tension.

    My son does not want gifts —he wants to do something with us like a Christmas concert which, of course, never happens on Christmas. His partner’s birthday is on Christmas, too, which further complicates everything. So now we celebrate before Christmas and view movies on the actual day, which is a much happier experience than driving 4 hours to a gathering that became outdated.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. We stopped the gift-giving years ago too. Totally destresses Christmastime. We all make charitable donations in the approximate amount we would have spent on meaningless trinkets for each other. With the advent of gift cards, a “gift” devolved into a mere transferring of $$ in one form or another to each other.

      I still miss Mom reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to us three kids before bedtime on Xmas Eve, and then escorting us upstairs to bed by candlelight.

      I could also do without the de-holidaying of most of our holidays–especially Christmas and Thanksgiving.(Yes, I’ve seen signs around town that some businesses will be open normal hours on Thanksgiving!)

      Can’t this country give it a rest for just a few days a year? All businesses take a day off a few times a year? Catch our collective breath. Go one day without feeling the need to spend money most of us don’t have on junk we probably don’t need?

      Chris in Owatonna

      Liked by 4 people

  4. We had a tradition of serving a big family Christmas dinner, then opening gifts. Family dinners, especially fancy ones, almost always run late. That meant the little celebrants were antsy for hours, eager to get to the fun part of the day.

    One year I decided we’d chuck that tradition, and from that point on our Christmas dinners were served buffet-style. No formal sit-down. People grazed like cattle whenever they chose to. For us, this worked remarkably well.

    I’m opposed to just about every tradition associated with wedding ceremonies. I think the way we do weddings is insane. If I were to design a tradition calculated to put maximum pressure on a young couple, it would be just like what we do. As a former wedding photographer, I speak from experience.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 100% agreement on the wedding thing, Steve. I have a theory that the amount of money spent on a wedding is inversely proportional to the length of time the marriage will last. More money spent on wedding results in a faster divorce.

      There are exceptions of course, but I offer as “proof” my “$99 special” wedding in my wife’s parents’ backyard, with about 50 guests, sheet cake, cookies, and lemonade (F.i.L. provided booze), a best man and a maid of honor, a county judge presiding, my stereo set up in the yard for the processional and recessional, no groom’s dinner, etc.

      We spent our money on a three-week camping trip honeymoon to Cape Cod and back, came back with $75 and no jobs (soon rectified), and started our lives together. Forty-one years later, we’re two of the lucky ones who won the marriage lottery.

      Proof of my theory the other way is the wedding of the daughter of my best friend that was Hollywood Glam all the way. MegaBucks (mostly paid for by the couple and HIS parents. My friend is not rolling dough–they’re comfortable but frugal.

      I’ll bet that was a six-figure wedding. Less than two years later, DIVORCE. *sigh*

      FWIW,

      Chris in Owatonna

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Believe it or not we’ve solved the “antsy”problem. Alan, who is always in charge of these things just announces a time that gifts are going to begin or the egg hunt is going to begin or whatever is going to begin. Then the kids just watch the time.

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  5. Daughter has decided that she has to get me something tomten-related every year. There are only so many tomte a person needs.

    When Daughter is home for Christmas we always watch the Muppet Christmas Carol. That is tradition I can appreciate.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We used to watch that Muppet show plus the Truman Capote “A Christmas Memory.” And we always listen to Dylan Thomas reading “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” On Christmas morning we listen to the King’s College broadcast of the “12 Lessons and Carols.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. For more than forty years, as long as we’ve owned a house of our own, we have hosted the family Thanksgiving. The family has grown by multiple generations and has outgrown our little house but still we are the designated host. No one else has ever volunteered.
    Just once, I’d like to be able to go to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving and be able to leave when we’re tired.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. They’re not mind readers, Bill. It’s entirely possible that someone would love to host it, but are reluctant to suggest it for fear of encroaching on yours and Robin’s territory. I think you’ll need to broach the subject.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. The tradition of Husband and I giving each other gifts in front of a (fake) tree seems silly at this point, and this year I feel like getting out of Dodge. So I’m introducing the idea of a train trip out to see friends in Port Townsend, WA, for Christmas. We’ll see what materializes.

      We have several kids in our lives who have December birthdays, on top of long distances for Christmas giving… Considering how much shipping costs, I’ve decided everyone is getting magazine subscriptions this year. And we may send a decent sized check to the parents, let them do what they like. One family has also opened bank account for the kids, so that might be a good option.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. So is everyone else unanimous about the green bean casserole? Personally, I think it’s a tragic thing to do to perfectly good green beans (although canned ones are exempt from being considered good). I haven’t made or eaten green bean casserole in decades and would have thought it had gone the way of jello molds, every other casserole made with cream of mushroom soup, and anything containing or topped with marshmallows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Green bean casserole is not a favorite of mine. That’s why I don’t have a recipe and I’ve never made it before. But YA likes it so I’m humoring her this year.

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  9. I’ve already left behind most unwanted traditions in my household. Absolutely no baking except a pie for dessert after holiday meal, only a tree to decorate, only buy presents for my husband and kids, most holiday meal foods are at least somewhat healthy or made from scratch, etc.
    When I do get together with my siblings & family (not very often) we just do a White Elephant and/or ornament exchange. This is the highlight of the day. We long ago had a potluck of hors doeuvres, soups, salads, etc. Plus a marathon of favorite Christmas movies. The White Elephant gift exchange usually devolves into a chaotic fun-filled frenzy of some people trying to hawk their dumb gifts, or the 3-4 gifts that people actually want and will steal from others. It gets loud and crazy, but we love it.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Just for the record, I actually like GBC but now we have a veggie casserole instead. At Christmas we still do gifts with my immediate family but for most of the adults, we do donations to charity since none of us need more “stuff”. No big family sit down dinner on Christmas Eve anymore – buffet at my sister’s house with Swedish meatballs, rice pudding, mashed potatoes instead to accommodate going to church at different times (we have musicians in the family as well as musician friends who don’t have time to go home between services so they come when they can). And the few gifts we do exchange get opened later on Christmas Day. I used to host a Christmas Open House in early December for many years until I broke my wrist in November of 2007. It was a convenient way to end that tradition and now I don’t have to bake Christmas cookies either.

    Liked by 3 people

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