This month marked the 11th anniversary of my mom's death. We took this picture quite a while ago ;-). I am the only woman left in this line. My mom was a holiday queen...holidays were very important to her and she resented her mom, Millie, on the left because Millie couldn't be bothered much. I admired my mom for doing the holidays in grand style...but I also admired why my grandmother wasn't a holiday fan. She was too busy, really. She was a single mom for a time, kicking her ex-husband out of the house for raising a hand to my mother as an infant. My grandmother got them through the depression by working as a hairdresser. When she met my grandpa, Sam, he decided it was his dream to live on the family farm and my city grandma became a farm woman. She plowed straight into it, and ran a small garden as well as the rest of the farm house, barns, animals, and life in general. Millie was...um...shall we say, a little on the cranky and snappish side most of the time. But, I admire her for her hard work. I admire my mom because she was the ultimate house manager. Everything was in order, spotless, ALL the time, even when she became ill. She was the glue that held us together, expanded family and all. It all changed when she passed. I'm not the one to carry that torch, but my kids and I have great memories because of it.
Holidays at our home are lower key. They are about all of us together, laughing, watching movies, and yep...eating. Instead of spending my time in the kitchen, they want me in the living room. Gifts are kept to a minimum, while the reason for the season is at the center. Expectations are different; I guess I could lament in some of the changes, but it's the people I miss, not the trappings.
In honoring their families, each generation takes from the last and forges their own traditions.