The one thing that is constant in life is change.
When I married, I knew that some of my childhood traditions would need to meld with my husband’s Italian heritage. I brought with me the desire to bake M&M; cookies and Bishop’s bread, and of course the continuation of Santa’s visit, while Geoff contributed the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. In his house, Christmas Eve was celebrated as much as Christmas Day. His grandmother (first generation American) would always prepare the large meal of aioli (angel hair pasta with a garlic/anchovy sauce), bacala fritters (salted cod), fried white fish, and bacala salad that included Italian peppers drizzled with olive oil. Not quite seven fishes – but it was a huge meal. After all the dishes had been cleared, washed, and put away, gifts from Cora were opened while coffee and cookies were consumed.
|My eldest – racing to find what
Santa had brought (1993)
But while this Christmas will be different, it will also be transitional. Next year will bring even more changes: there will be a new granddaughter to shop for, my son will be living in LA rather than Nashville and it will not be as easy to hop a flight home; my youngest will have moved into her own apartment (although it will still be in town) and probably wish to do her own baking rather help me with mine. Mom’s health is always questionable, but her presence will certainly be felt – just perhaps in a different way. I anticipate that many of these traditions will stay the same — but I also know that many will be adapted. My daughter will want to begin her own traditions with her daughter, my son will continue to split time between households, and my youngest will have established her own life. All as it should be.