~ IMPORTANT Traditions ~

I had no idea how much people missed corny stuff in this day and age.  The amount of feedback the last blog generated was incredible! It was gratifying to see that we are not the only ones in this world affected by the great world of Corny!

Today’s post will continue describing our family traditions…Corny, Corny, Corndog, Corn.  It’s all about the Sap here at The Little Cottage.

Every year we go to Hershey Park to visit the ‘Sweet Lights’ decorations for the holidays, to sit on Santa’s Lap, regardless of what anyone’s persuasion on the jolly old elf may be, and to fight over chocolate in a friendly game of poker.

Don’t think we’re different than any other family with pre-teens and teens.  Critter and Varmint bitched, and moaned, and rolled their eyes adequately enough to save their hormone-ridden teenage pride, as I strong-armed and browbeat them into trudging through the motions of family traditions.  Even My Captain had the bad idea of wondering aloud if the kids weren’t too old for this stuff.

He’s healing just fine, thanks.

But I ask you, friends, to examine the evidence below, and tell me whether or not you think I was right to insist we carry on our holiday habits.

Exhibit A:

(Sorry it’s so blurry. I need to cut back on the caffeine, sugar, and ADD meds.)

Note the patient look of Varmint and Critter as I asked them to stop for the yearly picture by the Hershey Lodge Sleigh.  Dammit, kids, can you put your arms around each other, or touch, or something?  At least look like you have a LITTLE affection for one another?

2014-12-14 12.34.05Thanks. That’s helpful.

2014-12-14 12.34.13


Let’s move on, shall we? Let’s get nice and toasty before we head out into the sub-zero weather of the Sweet Lights in Hershey Park. How’s about a cuddle by the fire, and a friendly game of poker?

2014-12-14 13.07.59

I said CUDDLE, not SMACKDOWN.  This is why we can’t go in public, you clowns.

2014-12-14 13.07.47

Can we just focus on divvying up the poker chips?  Milk Chocolate Mint is worth 10, and Dark Chocolate Raspberry is worth 5, as always.

2014-12-14 13.07.09

Kids, I said divvy them up, as in equally.

2014-12-14 13.07.02

We’re having fun, remember?   Tis the season to be ‘Jolly’, not the season to ‘glare stink-eye challenges across the table’.  Santa is watching, but more importantly, I’m capturing all of this on film, and am not afraid to throw you under the blog-bus.   Bank on it.

2014-12-14 13.16.36That’s better.  Now get your cotton-pickin’ hands away from my pile ‘O chips. You may be of my womb, but this is Poker, and I WILL cut you.

Let’s finish up and head on out to the park.  Bundle up.

2014-12-14 14.21.14

No, no one is going to notice that we all look like Nanook of the North.  And no, the down coat does NOT make us look like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man…..2014-12-14 14.21.26…because, DUH, he isn’t GREEN or BLUE.

2014-12-14 14.22.28That’s better.   But no, I will not admit that that muffled sound under my coat was a fart.

First stop in the park….SANTA!  It was at this point we have to break from the narrative for a side story.  Critter may look like he is being very specific, and demanding about what he wants for Christmas, but he actually was lecturing Santa on the importance of exercise.  Because, he insisted, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

2014-12-14 14.48.13Santa focused on the warning, nonplussed at the ol’ switcheroo that was happening on his lap.  HE was getting advice, for a change!  Varmint wisely held her tongue.  She knows not to mess up a good thing.

2014-12-14 14.48.15But Santa wasn’t offended.  He simply educated Critter on the restorative, healthful properties of Christmas Magic Dust.

2014-12-14 14.48.19And then they all had a good laugh when Critter asked where he could get some of that stuff for his chubby Mama.

2014-12-14 14.48.24Ha.

Let’s move on.

Time for the annual Hershey Christmas Cookie Decorating.  I notice no one is groaning and rolling their eyes NOW. Go figure.

2014-12-14 15.19.35

Serious Business.

2014-12-14 15.19.41

And after all that icing, we were in such a state of hyperglycemia that all we were good for, was sitting in a basket up on the Sky-Line ride, and passively enjoying all of the lights.

2014-12-14 17.06.54


2014-12-14 17.05.38


So there you have it.  What do you think?  Was I right?  Was it worth it to cajole them, and coerce them, and coral them into repeating the old family holiday habits, as campy, and corny, and jeuvenile as they may be?

Or am I only seeing what I want to see?

Because what I see in these pictures is humor, and joy, and love.  I see childhoods worth looking back on.

And if I am worth one thing at all as a mother….if I have one purpose…it would be to give them that.  To give them the building blocks for a joyful, love-filled, meaningful existence in this often tragic world. Life can be really, REALLY hard.  I can help them in person now, but one day, when I am gone, these memories will be what remains of me to help see them through the hard times.

If I were big enough to give joyful childhood memories to every kid on this planet, you can bet your ass I would.

But as it stands, I have only enough in me for these two miscreants.  And I do give them my all.  All of my effort.  All of my energy.  All of my humor and passion.  All of my heart.

And sometimes these things come in the form of forcing corny, but important, traditions.

I have a feeling that decades from now, tucked away in a corner of the home of some distant descendant, there will hang a photo of two kids behind a sappy Christmas tree cut-out.

And I’ll be satisfied.

2014-12-14 15.34.02

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One thought on “~ IMPORTANT Traditions ~

  1. Victoria

    YES!!! You and Troy are doing a great job of giving the joy of traditions to your children. I hope you are also putting these pictures and stories into a scrapbook for each of them so they will have the books to look back on and show their children where the traditions came from.

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