Traditions that can change

Post date: Dec 25, 2015 11:23:7 PM

For all of us as I write this Christmas Day is over. Another Christmas where much is familiar but traditions evolve to meet current needs. It is now many, many years since our initial Christmas tradition to alternate Dunedin and Christchurch Christmases - where family traditions were quite different but brought their own security. Our own traditions started to evolve here - like stockings before church to ensure you al least had some presents that you could show people. Christmas stockings becoming a feature tradition I suspect linked to their central place in our Christmas story. As Gran and Nana handed over Christmas hosting our Christchurch house became a frequent venue for Christmas so our traditions were created - strongly centred around lots of food.

As our sons traveled to far flung places the stocking traditions needed to evolve - strong kiwiana themes to remind you of where you came from. Three are definitely Mark and Adrain sized holes in our Christmas celebrations - the few of these days we have managed to all share in the last 15 have been incredibly special and have a sense of wholeness that isn't there when you aren't (I know you haven't been away that many years but we had occasional separate Christmases in your teens due to shift work that helped shape the pattern - remember hidden stockings when we were in separate parts of the same country?)

Una and Bernie with children made Auckland a Christmas destination from the time of Lachlan's arrival. With Maria now up here and Tim's shift work the new default location is Auckland. New traditions like adult Secret Santas evolved as the whanau grew. And as the whanau grows there are more people to join the circle. It was very special to have Tim's mother, stepfather and one brother as part of our tradition yesterday.

Being able to Skype/ Hangout/ talk to family not with us helps the connection. Knowing Mark & Adrian are creating their own new traditions - the Orphans Christmas in Melbourne. Mark joining Stacey's family had its own rhythm but this year you two started a new way of celebrating. Take with you the parts of the traditions that link you to families and create traditions that will link your future offspring to you.