“Let’s do our Family Shopping Trip this weekend,” Son says.
“But no one needs to buy anything,” I point out. “We do everything online.”
“But it’s Tradition!”
You gotta watch out for the ol’ Tradition trap. It’ll get ya every time.
And so it was that our family braved the traffic and crowds, walked the entire length and breadth of the shopping mall, upstairs and downstairs, then left without buying a single item.
Not even a big pretzel, because ever since they added the cinnamon/sugar variety, all the others are tainted by association.
We did, as per Tradition, visit three stores: The Lego Store, for Son; The Game Store, for Daughter; and The Kitchen Store, for me. (I like to look at all the gadgets and see how many can be replaced with a paring knife. It’s a little hobby of mine. This time I found 18.)
Husband, as per Tradition, stands outside each store waiting for us, listening to his audio book. He’s real dependable that way.
Also per Tradition, at some point we must drive down residential streets looking at Christmas lights.
But we don’t look for the spectacular, super-colossal displays. None of that fancy, schmancy, can-be-seen-from-outer-space holiday lights for us. Nope, we prefer the smaller displays. (No traffic.)
But our favorite house – the one the whole family awaits with eager anticipation – is just a few blocks from our house.
About a week ago, Son gave the report: “The House of Seven Santas is up!”
Okay, it’s not really called the House of Seven Santas. That’s just the name we gave it several years ago, when we first saw it.
These people have the tiniest yard, but they cram every available space with angels, snowmen, artificial trees, and at least three nativity scenes.
And don’t forget the Santas. There are many Santas.
(Note: we’ve never actually counted the Santas. There may be more than seven.)
I’m afraid the photo doesn’t quite do it justice. Just know that this is their entire yard and if you look carefully, you’ll see there are figures standing all along the sidewalk leading up to their front door.
I find their tackiness strangely comforting.
And maybe that’s the point of our traditions: they comfort us. Even the tacky ones.
So, do you want to see our house?
First, you need to know our family loves Peanuts. Charles Schulz is something of a saint in our house.
Son was the one who came up with the display:
Husband built the sleigh, Son purchased Snoopy and Woodstock. It was Daughter’s idea to have Woodstock flying upside down.
One time I suggested that maybe, for one year, we could have Woodstock right side up.
I’m lucky they didn’t burn me at the stake.
You don’t mess with Tradition.