A blended family is a balance of joys and challenges, often amplified by various holidays, birthdays, or family gatherings.
New relationships often call for either creating or compromising traditions that are part of our personal histories. We chatted with the boys (then 10 and 12) about tradition, symbolism, and creating new bonds.
I broached the question, “As a new family, what traditions would you like to create? What says, ‘Christmas’ to you? What is something we can do each year at this time?”
I had a back-up list from my own experiences: caroling, singing around a piano, putting up lights and then having hot chocolate, cutting down a tree, making home-made cards, making cookies together, etc.
The boys were pretty quick with their answer. “Bowling”
“Bowling? ” I repeated when I thought maybe they didn’t understand the whole ‘Christmas tradition’ part of our discussion.
“Bowling” they said. “It would be our Christmas tradition.”
“Well,” we thought, “Bowling it is!”
Twenty-five years later, I can say with 100% certainty that their idea was spot on.
Each Christmas Eve morning we gather for a light breakfast and gift exchange. Once done, we zip off to the local bowling alley (dressed in Santa hats and reindeer antlers, silver bells and bright sweaters) to bowl badly and laugh heartily.
We have grown from 4 to 12 or more depending on circumstance. We even have two winner ornaments, like the one pictured above, to be proudly displayed until the next year when it is up for grabs.
Three generations enjoying “The Christmas Bowl.”
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