Thursday, December 20, 2007

When traditions are broken, do they make a sound?

This Christmas we have broken just about every tradition in the book.
We didn’t put up a Christmas tree. We bought several boxes of Christmas cards but only sent out a handful. We did buy gifts for Mr. Pop’s family members.

What we decided to do this year, instead of buying one another things we do not need, is go to the beach for Christmas.

This weekend we will be heading over to the west coast of Florida to Sanibel and Captiva Islands. We’ve rented a little cottage and we’ll be walking on the beach Christmas morning searching for seashells.

This is something I have wanted to do since the Christmas after hurricane Jeanne and Frances so rudely came to visit. That Christmas our house was still a mess. Half the carpet was pulled up and tossed, due to water damage, so we were padding around on bare concrete floors. Nothing was where it should be and everything seemed wrong. Plus we had quickly purchased a Christmas tree that was way too Charlie Brown-ish and it just looked about the way the rest of the house did.

That Christmas morning I was in my kitchen beginning to cook enough food to feed many more than two people. There was no Christmas cheer anywhere to be found. Just short of beginning to cry, I turned to Mr Pop and said, “I want to spend a Christmas on Sanibel beach some day.” That Christmas and that day will be next week.

Don’t tell me that there is no Santa Claus. There sure is and I married him.


Blogger Wren said...

They do make a sound - the sound of nontraditional but meaningful celebration.

Sanibel sounds wonderful - it's on my list of places to visit. Relax, enjoy, and take lots of pictures.

December 20, 2007 3:14 AM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

It sounds as if when the tradition was broken, just like an egg might break if dropped, that an amazing gift emerged.

This is a lovely story and I am so glad to have the image of you on the beach at Christmas.

That sounds very peaceful and delightful to me.

December 20, 2007 3:32 AM  
Blogger niCk (Mem Beth) said...

It makes a sound. WOO-HOO

Spending Christmas at the beach sound like a better way to holiday than the tired old consumer-oriented holiday. I toast you.

Have a Beachy Holiday..

December 20, 2007 4:02 AM  
Blogger ZILLA said...

Sounds perfect! The year we took the family to Australia for Christmas, I was surprised to learn that many Australians typically go to the beach for Christmas -- open intoxicants and BBQs everywhere! None of our kids minded not having presents to unwrap that year.

December 20, 2007 4:05 AM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Yay for you!!! There is nothing better in the world than spending Christmas like you want to.

I'm way overdue for one of those.

December 20, 2007 5:23 AM  
Blogger Forty Paws said...

That sounds wonderful! And Mr. PoP is a great Santa Claus!

December 20, 2007 5:43 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

We haven't done as much this Christmas as we usually do. We actually had a discussion about not putting up a tree, but did it anyway.

Sounds like a great way to spend Christmas. Enjoy.

December 20, 2007 6:04 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

PoP you were almost having company. Madam Monk and I were all set to be in Sanibel for the holiday as well when a crisis developed here with friends. We have spent several Christmas's at the beach...some in Florida and some in Cozumel. You'll have a great time and Sanibel is the best place in the world to find seashells.

December 20, 2007 6:04 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

oh how grand! enjoy!

December 20, 2007 6:58 AM  
Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Awwwwwwwwww, you ol' softie you.

December 20, 2007 6:58 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

Sounds like you are celebrating the true essence of Christmas!
However Mr POP can't get ya a snowman!

December 20, 2007 7:51 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

I just love the name "Sanibel" it is like music. Sounds like a lovely place to spend Christmas. Santa adores you, PoP!

December 20, 2007 8:02 AM  
Blogger annie said...

Graham Nash even wrote a song about Sanibel, Robin! You have a sweet husband, p0p! I hope you two have a lovely time. I look to the day we can celebrate Hawaiian style. Cheers... to breaking away from tradition.

December 20, 2007 8:09 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Good for you!

It's strange, but for some reason this year I just can't get into the whole thing. I've been going through the motions, but not loving it like I usually do.

I hope you have a great time and the weather is picture perfect for you. I'm sure you'll have lots of pics for the blog.

December 20, 2007 8:11 AM  
Blogger dguzman said...

Yay Pop and Mr Pop! I hope you have a wonderful time. Dig your toes in the sand a little for me.

P.S.--still efforting that snowman, Pop!

December 20, 2007 8:18 AM  
Blogger roger said...

we'll be thinking of you as we walk on the beach here on the left coast.

December 20, 2007 8:22 AM  
Blogger The Culture Ghost said...

Delightful and inspiring. We have been unable to muster much enthusiasm for the holidays. Just last night we congratulated ourselves for having accomplished all our tasks (though I have a few cards still to send)...and that's what it has been: a task.

Have a marvelous time.

December 20, 2007 8:25 AM  
Blogger DCup said...

Searching the beach for seashells on Christmas?

Simply lovely.

Sounds like a new tradition to me.

Merry Christmas, PoP and Family!

December 20, 2007 8:34 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

Dcup beat me to it: it sounds like a new tradition being born.

Best wishes to you and all who visit your site.

December 20, 2007 9:24 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Aren't the best Christmas traditions the ones that come from within you?

December 20, 2007 1:01 PM  
Blogger isabelita said...

This is the nicest thing I've heard about today. We will make a "rain man" for ya, while you are desporting yourselves on the beach!
Enjoy it to the hilt!

December 20, 2007 1:07 PM  
Blogger Jane Austen Jr. said...

Ooh, very nice! I like it when people break with tradition, especially at Christmas. Have a great trip!

December 21, 2007 10:27 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

The Snavette and I love playing Santa Claus... we spoil the rest of our family like there's no tomorrow.

We stopped going out to cut real trees seven years ago, and our fake tree has lasted us through six Holiday seasons. We still do a xerox Christmas letter every year, with the letter on one side and pictures on the other, but we send fewer and fewer each year... seems like we get fewer cards each year too. Mrs. Snave still makes traditional east European Christmas goodies every year, and makes her grandmother's chicken and dumpling recipes.

I think the only sound a Christmas tradition makes when it breaks is the sound of my heart breaking just a little bit. Those are the family tradition things. Making Mrs. Snave's grandmother's recipe is one way we remember her. Seems like this is a time of year to remember those who are no longer with us, and to be glad they were here on Earth to enrich our lives. Traditions which involve loved ones or things they used to do at Christmas are the kinds of traditions I feel the need to carry on.

But there are certainly lots of things I can do without at Christmas, like having to send gifts to nieces and nephews I have not met or maybe met just once on Mrs. Snave's side of the family. I can do without Christmas music, much of which I don't care to ever hear again... this year we got out our Mario Lanza Christmas album once, and that was plenty for me. I can definitely do without seeing all the stores putting up their decorations just about the time Halloween is done. Heck, I don't like snow either, and I wish for a green Christmas every year... this year I'll be disappointed in that department... brrr!

But I hope you all have a great holiday time, and that most of all, it is relaxing and rewarding. To me, that is mostly what it is about... recharging the ol' batteries and spoiling my kids, Mrs. Snave and my mom unmercifully.

December 24, 2007 5:48 PM  

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