Has it really been a whole month since our last OtherMothers collab? November has been our most popular collective topic yet, with members of our awesome community sharing their Christmas traditions
What struck me reading through the content this month, was not the traditions themselves, which are as diverse and beautiful as our members themselves, but actually the reasons behind these customs.
I guess I always thought of a tradition as like a habit, something you carried on from the previous generation because well, that’s all you’ve known. But actually the act of setting tradition is steeped in psychology, from ditching those that don’t work for you, like boxing up an ex’s possessions in the aftermath of an unhealthy relationship, to amalgamating and compromising on different ideals when you marry. Honouring family members, and happy childhood memories with love over the generations. Sharing stories and remembering those no longer part of the family….. Then there’s creating new things, new routines and magical traditions that work for you, or ideals which reflect your values, parenting styles and the culture you live in now.
In my own contribution, I revealed that I’ve been part of many Christmas’s over my 32 years of life. I just counted them up and was shocked to discover I’ve been present (possibly the best pun ever) for 13 different family setups.
I guess you’d call our Christmas now a bit of a mash up…. I’ve kept a couple of traditions from my childhood, namely the Night Before Christmas on Xmas Eve and watching The Snowman and I’ve taken on some of my husbands: eating smoked salmon for breakfast on Christmas Day and waiting until after dinner to unwrap gifts. I’ve honoured the people I’ve lost: by buying in a bottle of sparkling Shiraz (cheers Uncle Peter) each year, and I’ve ditched the real tree, a legacy from a previous relationship…..
The one thing I lack and prob goes a long way to explain my Xmas obsession, is that I’m lacking in inherited traditions. I don’t have one thing we do as a family that I can say my distant relatives passed down. Sure, I’ve got Delia’s Christmas cook book from my mother and handmade decs from my late Grandmother’s house but that’s it, that’s where it stops…… I guess I throw so many traditions and habits around now, just hoping with all fingers crossed that when my children grow up and discover who they are and the Christmas they like, at least one of mine will stick, for generations to come…… (I wonder if it will be elf on the shelf?)
#OtherMothers Below you will find an interactive list of festive memories and customs from the mothers in our Facebook community (click twice on an image to read more).
And if you’re thinking ‘but none of these mothers or their Christmas represent me’, then come and join us, get your voice heard and share your unique perspective.’ Or take part in our next task…..
December: My 2018 achievements