Monday, December 2, 2013

Out With the Old, In With the New?

by Kate Collins

I started two new traditions at Thanksgiving this year. For the first one, see last week's post here The second was a brand new stuffing recipe chock full of veggies and sweet Italian sausage. Radical! If your family is like mine, you know how hard it is to buck tradition. But this new recipe, given to me by a friend, was an immediate hit. Not only that, but they voted it back next year.

Now on to Christmas. It was always my custom to put up a huge tree that would hold the gazillion ornaments my family had collected over decades. But this year I ordered a pencil tree a mere 24 inches wide at the base, because that's how big the space for it in my new house is. So I'm betting 3/4 of those ornaments aren't going to fit on it. How do I choose which ones to cut? Would it be better to do something new?

And then there's my Santa Claus collection -- big, 2 foot high Santas that were all over my big house. Now, poor Santa and his buddies have no room. So out all but two go. In fact, many of my old decorations just don't fit in my new house.  Yet I feel guilty getting rid of these things that have so many memories attached. So the dilemma is, do I put them back in the box on the shelf or donate them?

Change is hard, especially when you didn't choose the change. But as I've learned since I lost my beloved soulmate, change happens whether we want it to or not. So I'm making the choice to donate the old and embrace the new -- while still hanging onto a few very special pieces.

What traditions would you like to change? And what will you never change?