Arlene and I were out picking up a few things from the store yesterday and we got to talking about the fun of our family traditions…
I am going to highlight just two of them in this post.
We have been blessed with a number of kids all about the same age. It goes like this….18, 17, 15, 14, 14, 13, 13 13, 13, 11, 8, 8, 5, 2 . Now, I have to say, that today this isn’t such a bad mix at all. As a matter of fact, today, this is a wonderful mix. But, about ten years ago, this was somewhat chaotic. So we started a tradition way back then. I began to write clues for Christmas.
Papa has always been the clue reader and I have been the clue writer. The kids all sit in the middle of the living room and listen with great anticipation to see if the clue just might select them in or count them out. Whoever the lucky one is, comes to the gift chair and opens their gift while all of us eagerly watch for the grins and giggles that always ensue!
This gift is for you if…
You play or have played an instrument (whoever this is true for stands up)
You have your own FB account (a few more sit down)
Your Facebook Info reads: I am funky and outgoing and love to wear really bright clothing. (and in the end Karolyn is the last one standing!)
This gift is for you if…
You have a spring or summer birthday
If you total the digits of your age, they equal Isaiah’s age – 1
Janneke is living in your birth country (Clearly a Ryan gift)
And so the process goes. Each child receives three gifts and so this requires 126 clues. I can tell you this, Christmas clues is worth every ounce of energy and time it takes. It is a tradition I believe will go on from generation to generation!
And then after the kids gifts, we take a break and then meet again in the living with the adults. For these gifts we draw names, have a fifty dollar limit and must present the gift with a poem. Let me share a flavor of the poetry we write.
Dan DeKam you’re a real mans man
of hunting and fishing you’re a big fan
it’s been said you’re not very refined
your knowledge of modern technology is very behind
so with this gift, i hope you soon flourish
and your continuing education, I hope to nourish!
To Len and Nick a Christmas Rhyme
After the names were chosen
And the hat was put away
The DeKams were thrilled to discover
They had Len and Nick, oh happy day!
They were however soon to learn
The trials this would bring
They discussed, they looked, they argued, they thought
About many a many a thing.
And then it occurred to Dan
These boys are both bitchin
When it comes to the kitchen
So, off to the cheese lady we went
A store that really cuts it
She has lots of kitchen toys
And other kinds of sh*t
Dan wanted to buy them spatulas
because he thought it rhymed with flatulence
so another argument ensued Oi Vey this was causing such a feud
But then Aha, some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
and flavors so divine
those bitchin kitchen bros
will cook up something fine
And so this story ends quite nice
The marriage is intact
The cheese lady is richer
And the boys, no oil lack!
And so poems is a tradition as is drawing names, but in such a delightful fashion, I can add an evening of laughter is a tradition that will continue for many more years, of that I am sure!