Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers

Traditions

“But she’s made already made the Christmas puddings,” Clare pleaded with me.

“But, I don’t really like Christmas pudding, “I complained. “It’s just a bunch of Victorian stodge. The last thing I fancy after a huge meal is a pile of dried fruit, flour and custard.”

Clare just shook her head, “It’ll break her heart. And anyway, it’s a tradition.”

So, my idea of having a berry tart for pudding was well and truly vetoed. Instead I’ll be tucking into my mother-in-law’s Christmas pudding. I understand that its atomic mass is so great that it actually has its own gravity field and bends light.

And that’s the problem with families isn’t it. Especially at Christmas time. Every family has its own traditions and blending those traditions can be a tricky business. Because whilst many generations from one side of the family may have done it that way, it doesn’t mean that the poor fool you marry will want to do it that way as well.

However, even traditions are invented somewhere (just ask Eric Hobsbawn). Some of the finest traditions in our nation’s fine history were dreamt up not in the mists of the far distant past but all too recently. Did you know that the different tartans attributed to the Scottish clans were made up by a couple of brothers in a book called the Vestiarium in the 1830s? Or that in India there is no such dish as a “curry”, let alone a “tikka masala”?

“Well, I think it’s important that we invent our own traditions. We need to make Christmas ours and stamp a bit our identity on it,” I insisted. “We can’t just have a watered down version of your parents’ Christmas.”

“Fair enough,” said Clare. “Where do you want to start?”

After some discussion we agreed that we would find our own Christmas movie that we can settle down and enjoy with the kids each year (currently the Muppet’s Christmas Carol is top of the list); that we would have Christmas dinner at 5pm, not at 2 o’clock so it would fit in with the kids’ teatime and the crowning glory: we would go to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree every year.

So, last Saturday morning we were standing on a beautiful hillside bathed in icy winter sunshine as a man sawed down a lovely 6 foot nordman fir we had chosen. The kids were beaming, Clare was beaming and I was beaming. We were enjoying creating our own traditions.

I thought I’d push my luck. “I suppose goose instead of turkey is out of the question?”

Clare’s silence and frosty glare spoke volumes.

Related entries

Too old for this

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

The big day

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

The big questions

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

10 tips to support your child after break-up

10 tips to support your child after break-up

In 2020 Dad.info ran a survey asking 1000 separated parents about their experiences of divorce or separation and they generously shared their concerns and most importantly their tried and tested solutions. If you are looking for ways to save your children from being...

We Support The Parents Promise

We Support The Parents Promise

More couples discuss what they would do if they won the lottery than how they would co-parent their children if they separated.  87% of couples have talked about how they would spend a lottery win. Just 5% admit to having discussed potential parenting...

ASK DEBBIE- MY DAUGHTER DOESN’T WANT TO SEE ME

ASK DEBBIE- MY DAUGHTER DOESN’T WANT TO SEE ME

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at info@dad.info and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is about problems in...

Pin It on Pinterest