Friday, September 11, 2009

Family Traditions....

Friday September 11, 2009.....

I know that every family has its own traditions. Some I envy, some I don't. In my family, I've learned that some of our traditions are not normal. I mean I hadn't a clue till outside people (not members of our family pointed this out to me). Two that come to mind include:

Moving Holidays: My family celebrates a holiday when it is most convenient to everyone. I understand Christmas. Many times the 25th falls mid week and it is easier for out-of-town family members to celebrate with local loved ones on the actual day and then spend time with siblings in CT the weekend before or after the 25th.

However, the year I learned that Thanksgiving was moved a week before the new date (which was earlier than Thanksgiving) was a bit disturbing. Apparently, my mother changed the date and told my sister Yoga Girl. If I hadn't talked with YG daily, I would have never known that 10 people were showing up at MY house earlier. Yeah, MY house. Mom had told all the other guests, but forgot to tell the hostess.

Willing Things to Loved Ones: Ever since I was in the 2nd grade, my mom would go around the house and say stuff like "Oh, I'm going to leave the pearls to your sister and my engagement ring to you". I was 7. I didn't grasp the concept of death or wills. I hadn't a clue that other families would not be doing this.

As time went on, this became a sick family joke amongst some of the siblings. In fact, if my parents got some ugly statue that all of us hated, I would plant the seed in mom's head that so-and-so should get it because she was admiring it one day. I'd go further and even comment how great it would look in her den. Weeks or months later, my mom would announce to said sibling that she'd be getting the ugly ass bronze cowboy statue because she had heard how much my sister had wanted it. When my sister would ask her where she got that information, she would say LMB told me. Of course, my sister wouldn't want to hurt mom's feelings and say you're right. Later she would tell me she'd get me back with something uglier that she'd have mom will to me.

September is My Birthday Month, What Are You Getting Me?: This is one tradition that is shared only with Yoga Girl. Here's the rub: I'm not a big surprise girl (I may have even mentioned that before in this blog) and Yoga Girl is. In fact, if I wrapped a box of shit and didn't tell her what was in the box, she'd probably love it. Not me. Just because a box of shit is wrapped beautifully doesn't mean I want it. Over the years, a new tradition has emerged around my birthday because I fear the box of shit and NEED to know what I'm getting.

Unlike many other family traditions, mine is not warm and loving, more like a whiny little record that keeps skipping. Starting September 1st until my birthday, it goes a lot like this:

Me - X shopping days until the big event.

The response is varied. Some years I hear:

YG - I don't know what to get you...

or this year I heard

YG - "Don't make plans for the weekend of November 14th-15th".

Me - Why? Are we moving Thanksgiving again?

YG - No. But, we really need to do that again, it's been awhile.

Me - Hubby really wants to know what you've gotten me(at this point I've asked hubby to mention he needs to know in case he's gotten me the same thing next time he talks with her)

YG - Oh really, why?

Me - Because he doesn't want to duplicate it.

At this point there is silence and I know to drop the subject till our next conversation which is later in the day. This time, I put hubby on the line....

Hubby - What are you getting LMB

YG - She's in the room (phone is on speaker and I make fake stomping sounds - for some reason, YG is smarter than a drunken sailor and doesn't believe me).

Hubby - She's gone.

YG - No she's not. (I realize no convincing her I'm out of the room and begin whining).

This tradition lasts for 21 days in the month of September because I get my present on the 22nd!

Now, before you say, LMB you're a whiny little brat and should appreciate anything YG gives you (oh year my dad gave us pet rocks thinking we'd love it - she probably did because it was a surprise. Me, not so much. I was very young at the time and still knew it was a freakin rock), she gets PURE enjoyment calling me or emailing and saying "I got your gift and am not going to tell you because I know it drives you nuts".

God, do I love this birthday tradition. In December, I'll explain the reverse when it's her birthday and what I do to her.


lacochran said...

First of all, I would be beyond pissed if someone moved an event that was at my place without consulting with me. How messed up is that?!

Second, my father's cousin *signed my name" on the back of a secretary and let everyone in the family know that she was leaving it to me. It's in my living room now.

"YG - "Don't make plans for the weekend of November 14th-15th".

Me - Why? Are we moving Thanksgiving again?"

Ha! :)

rxBambi said...

We do that willing stuff too. Although now that dad is gone and mom is in her 80s it's not much fun since you know it'll actually happen. As for the ugly bronze cowboy statue? Barb an I have another sister that loves all that ugly crap so she gets it!

Dree said...

Ha, I love the moving of holidays to different dates! But how awful that you weren't told when you were hosting the event! What if they'd all shown up? A very interesting Thanksgiving that would have been.

We do the willing too. I will have to use your trick for my brother and sister. They won't appreciate it, but it will make me happy. :)

Green-Eyed Momster said...

When I read:
"Willing Things to Loved Ones: Ever since I was in the 2nd grade, my mom would go around the house..."

I figured out that we must be related. My grandma would actually put the names of people she wanted to have her stuff on the bottom of her stuff with masking tape and a marker. My name wasn't on anything though....

Hey, we're celebrating Thanksgiving next week. Can you come and bring all of the food? LOL!!

P said...

We celebrate half birthdays as well s birthdays in my family, in terms of strange traditions. I'm not quite sure how that one started...

a corgi said...

loved reading these traditions; too funny about the holidays being moved; that made me laugh but I can see how beneficial that could be when trying to get everyone together and pretending it is the actual holiday day.

cute birthday tradition too; its fun to do things like this isn't it??


Sunshine Mama said...

I'm curious about why they moved the Thanksgiving holiday, Christmas I get.
That whole willing thing, we don't do that but it would be helpful if you taped names underneath things so that then relatives would know.
Thank you for all your encouragement on my diet. It really helps. I'll be encouraging you on yours.:)

Little Ms Blogger said...

lacochran - luckily I was given a week's notice, if 2 days prior, I would have been pissed! I loved that you have the piece of furniture that had your name on it. I guess it cuts down on arguments.

rxBambi – My parents took care of that years ago. Mom is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s so, she wouldn’t even remember the ugly crappy statue. Hell, she thinks she lived with Michael Jackson. Maybe we’ll mail the ugly stuff to your sister.

Dree – Depending upon how you slip into a conversation, it can be a lot of fun to have ugly things willed to your siblings.

Green-Eyed Momster – I’m realizing that more people have the same parents I do with the willing things comment. Moving Thanksgiving to next week – sure, I’ll be there with all the food. However, please don't wait and start without me.

P – Really ½ birthdays – now that is fun. If I could convince my sister for 2 gifts a year, life would be grand.

A corgi – hmmm…. My sister might not agree that the birthday tradition isn’t that cute, but I do. :-)

Sunshine Mama – We moved it because my sister was in a wedding the weekend after Thanksgiving and had to fly from NJ to FL. I think you’re making great progress on your diet. Keep it up.

otin said...

Except for the eating good food aspect, I could do without the gift giving/getting part of holidays!

girl, inspired said...

I think I must be a ditz ball, what day is your birthday?

McGillicutty said...

OK willing is good until they die unexpectedly and don't leave a will, then no one wants anything!
I'm sooo with you on the birthday thing, it better be cool or I'm just not diggin' it. My Mum once played a trick on me by wrapping a beautiful dress box all fancy and gorgeous and all that was in it was tissue paper and a stupid little cricket game thingy. Not amused. I threw it all down and sulked in my bedroom, I was about 22 at the time!

DB said...

This is Yoga Girl....let's clear something up for the readers of this blog. LMB starts the birthday reminders SIX months away, at a minimum. Sometimes earlier. I get a call or email on the date telling me that there are X shopping months until LMB's birthday. I've decided it's a trait of the youngest in the family.

By the way I think you will really like your birthday gift :-)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh yeah, we do the "willing things to loved one" in our family big time. In fact, if you pick some stuff up, or look at the back of something, you'll find a post-it note with a name on!

So, are you cooking for Thanksgiving this year?


Matty said...

My wife is the same way. She hates surprises. She's gotta know everything in advance.

Constructive Attitude said...

HAHAHHAHAH at the pet rocks.

And im the complete opposite, i love being surprised!

I wonder what YG will get you. what is hubby getting you?

The Bumbles said...

I have a friend who expects the half b-day thing just like P's family celebrates. But she celebrates on the 1/2 instead of the real because the real is in January right after X-Mas and she would just get leftovers if anything. So July is a lot more effective. Funniest thing is, when she had her twins, they were born 2 days before X-Mas - she, being ever so sensitive to the tribulations of sharing your b-day with the big holiday couldn't find a way to time her own kids' delivery date! She was never very good at math, that one.

Happy b-day - mine's a week before yours. And I hate spoilers. So if you suddenly decide to send me a pet rock or a box o' shit please don't ruin it.

Jules said...

I give Hubby a list of 5 items to choose from. That way I can be a LITTLE surprised but I also know that it will be something I want. Maybe it's a Libra thing. Are you a Libra? Because my birthday is this month too....just made that Libra cusp though.

thatgirlblogs said...

your family sounds fun! I'm similarly annoying on my birthday month, trust me.

Matthew said...

My family have been guilty of the willing-things, but not for some years.

As for moving the holidays, it sounds like a good idea to me. I once tried to move my birthday from December to June. I tried this in January, a month after having had all my presents. Plan was to move it back to December after I'd got my June haul of goodies.

Surprisingly, my family vetoed my plan and I remember a December baby!

One Sassy Girl said...

Ha, your family sounds hilarious. I admire anyone who makes their own rules. Fair play!

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Sadly, the way most families work (and this includes my own) you're better off NOT telling them what bugs you, otherwise they keep hammering you with it. Like, say, not telling you what you're getting for your birthday.

Midtown Girl said...

LOL - there were many years when we celebrated Thanksgiving on a Fridday instead of the Thrus (mom's works sched had her off either on Thanksgiving OR Christmas) so we had no choice - but it was fine - still with fam and great(and not so great) food!


Dan said...

Moving holidays has always been old hat here. After all, L and I have our parents in the same town. It was just luck that one family did Christmas Day and the other Christmas Eve. {*grin*}

Miss_Nobody said...

Ha, we move birthdays,and i SO dont' like that!
]I have something for you,but I'm not telling :P

LiLu said...

We always TALK about moving the holidays to make it easier/less expensive, but my grandma never goes along with it. Sigh.

SUES_CABIN said...

None of our family have done the willing thing but I know others who have. I also knew of one family who then disagreed about about who should have what because this willing was all word of mouth. Two of the sister each maintained that the clock had been left to them.

Pearl said...

One thing I learned last year is NOT to mess with Christmas dinner. Who knew the family was so attached to turkey?!


JennyMac said...

Oh..I love holidays and bdays especially. Your family sounds like too much fun. Hope you had a great weekend!

Optimistic Pessimist said...

my grandmother has been telling things she's leaving me since I was a little girl. Considering I forgot to call and wish her a happy grandparents day I have a feeling it's all going to my sister now.

Wild Boomba said...

You have the same birthday as my husband!

I like moving holidays. It makes them more fun.

I hope you get some good gifts!

Tami G said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! love the family traditions post! HILARIOUS! my family has insane traditions too that crack me up!!
I'm officially a faithful follower now!