Traditions held so much security for me while I was growing up. Whether it was church every Sunday, out to eat after each crop of hay or opening presents on Christmas Eve... each brought such a sense of safety and security.
So as you can imagine, Christmas was steeped in tradition. And I remember being very aware of those traditions even at a very young age. And the honest truth, you don't necessarily love em all. Lutefisk & lefse on Christmas Eve was not my cup of tea. I did not love lutefisk. In fact lutefisk was pretty awful... but the lefse, swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes & gravy were heavenly! And I'll be honest, I would have been sad had my Mom not served lutefisk every year. I would have missed the ritual of being grossed out at the smell and slimy texture, but even more so, I would have missed the joy in watching my Norwegian Dad savor every buttery bite.
A year ago I had the honor of participating in the lefse-making tradition with my friend Barb, her daughter & sisters. Check out that memorable event HERE.
I'll be sharing more of my family traditions throughout the month, but here are a few pics from a tradition we carry on in the Thompson family. Most every year since I married into the Thompson family, we gather together at Randy's parents home for the Thompson Caroling party. Everyone brings their guitars and we sing, eat, laugh and tell stories. Dad Thompson passed away a couple years ago and we miss him so much, but we carry on the tradition in his memory. Nothing brought him greater joy than watching his sons sing and play their guitars.
So who do you suppose Emolyn is clapping at? Well, her Pop pop, Uncle Ty Ty, her Daddy and her great-uncle Don of course! She had her very own front row seat! And she sang and danced to every tune.
We missed Randy's brother Barry who died 6 years ago too. He loved playing and singing with his brothers. Barry's sons could not make it this year and they sure were missed too.
How cute are the two Emolyn's sharing a dish of ice cream together. Emolyn's great-grandma gets so tickled with Emolyn's expressions and darling dance moves. She was quite the entertainment for the evening.
It's always so emotional to witness four generations gather together and carry on family traditions. To sit back and watch Randy's Mom, Randy, our son and his daughter all in the same room singing Christmas Carols... well, it doesn't get much better than that.
I am so grateful to God that He found a way for us to know Him through His son Jesus Christ. My heart is full of love this Christmas season.
I will leave you with this darling image of Emolyn loving on sweet Emma. Emolyn did not want Emma to take away her precious guitar pick. Do you see it in her little hand? (click to enlarge) Her Pop pop gave her that guitar pick at the concert the night before and she has barely had it out of her hand since. She adores her Pop pop and therefore his red guitar picks :)
*** Click the top pic. She actually found a way to clap with her beloved pick in the palm of her hand. Too cute.