Today, I got into my cedar chest to pull out the hand-made quilts we have from my husband’s grandmother. There were five all together. I’ve already given my children one each for use in their homes now that they are grown and gone. Three are now in the guest rooms waiting for loved ones. These quilts are among the heirlooms I pull out for November and December, when it can get a little chilly here in the Panhandle. Mostly, though, I pull these quilts out because of wanting to see and remember the years and and the family traditions.
I always tell the children the origin of the quilts, and I know they are not listening. That’s OK. I believe it’s sinking into their subconscious, maybe even their DNA.
Other heirlooms include the Christmas ornaments my mother gave the family, the ones I still give to my children (a new one each year, sometimes hand made, sometimes “store bought” but always with some significance about that year), the ones the children made when they were young, and the ones friends have given us over the years.
Also, certain traditions come out as well. An Advent Calendar and anAdvent Wreath come out the first Sunday in Advent, but the “Christmas” decorations have to wait for later in the month. Then, it’s angels, angels everywhere.
My mother’s recipe for toffee squares and cheese straws and my recipe for cranberry-orange relish get made as often as necessary.
I think this year, I will try to write down each tradition, as I go through them, because some have become automatic. I need to record and document what we do and why, for future generations. Where the decorations came from and when. What each one means to me. I hope that 100 years from now, that will mean something to my (at this moment imaginary) descendants.
Note: Next week, only two blog entries. Going to Kentucky for more traditions!