Words we say and lessons we teach will outlive us. As a mom, I try to follow my mother’s example.
Mom was a wise, gentle soul who passed on what she learned along the way. One of my favorite pieces of marriage advice revolved around the holiday.
She knew from experience that blending families could be tricky. Special occasions can intensify those emotions and create family situations that can test our relationships.
When our family was young, we would spend Christmas Day going from my dad’s family to my mom’s. One year my dad finally made the announcement that we would be staying home. If anyone wanted to spend it with us, they were welcome to come over.
It worked out well. My grandparents even showed up before we were awake some years. (They were as excited as all of us kids.)
When Russ and I married, I had lists in my mind of what holidays would look like: the right food, decorations, movies and activities that bring the warmth of the past into the present. Mom encouraged us to find our own traditions.
Only six weeks after our wedding we hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner. Russ invited his three bachelor brothers to join us. I don’t remember how long it took, but I do remember the counter in our little apartment overflowing with every possible holiday menu item.
The only exception was pumpkin pie. Russ wasn’t a fan (still isn’t), so I decided to make a twist on his favorite dessert.
The man loves a good cheesecake. I found a great recipe for boysenberry cheesecake. After one bite it was declared our tradition, not only for Thanksgiving but for Christmas, Easter and a few birthdays as well.
Jemelene Wilson of Roseburg is married, has two daughters and is a substitute instructional assistant for the Roseburg School District. She is one of several bloggers who contributes to Douglas County Moms on The News-Review’s website, nrtoday.com.