Tradition is important in my family. Through our traditions come some of our best “stories.” For instance, my sisters and I ring the bell at church every Christmas morning. One of my sisters insists on adding a couple of minutes to the time each year. We are now up to 22 minutes. My husband took pity on us a few years ago and presented us with bell-ringing gloves. (Hemp is murder on your hands.)
Of course, that same sister is the chronicler in the family. The problem is, her candid shots – aren’t. I put my foot down when she missed a shot of me opening an important gift. She wanted me to re-wrap it and look surprised when I opened it. I enjoy acting, but on Christmas morning?
Then there was the year that we went out to cut the tree (as we do every year) and our dog Nikki decided to roll in some animal droppings. It may have smelled good to her, but we were forced into a half-hour ride, in a closed vehicle, with a very smelly dog. Needless to say, she didn’t come with us the following year.
Speaking of dogs, I’m surprised Brandy (another of our well-behaved pets), made it through Christmas several years ago. One of my sisters was sick and couldn’t attend church. We left her on the sofa, and she had a pound of chocolates next to her on the coffee table. When we returned, each wrapper was in its place, but the entire box was empty. We unjustly accused my sister, but it turns out Brandy had a sweet tooth.
And it’s not just the animals that have Christmas stories. We’ve had some Christmas Parties that would have made Mr. Fezziwig (A Christmas Carol) feel right at home, complete with pastry covered hams, unique games (It’s a Wonderful Life Trivial Pursuit) and my sisters and I lip sinking to “The Chipmunks.” (Yes, I lip sang “I still want a hula hoop.”)