Every time I hear or read the word "Tradition" I think of Fiddler on the Roof. A musical that I watched for the first time with in the last couple of years with Justin and his parents. I never realized that I enjoyed musicals. However, some of my favorite movies are in fact musicals. Fiddler on the Roof wouldn't be one of my favorites, but I did enjoy it.
Each year Justin, the girls and I get a new ornament on Thanksgiving for our Christmas tree. We give them to each other on Thanksgiving night (or the night we may celebrate Thanksgiving). This year we had to wait to hand them out because we were waiting for Vada's and Justin's to come in the mail. Even though Justin didn't mind not getting his at the same time and Vada wouldn't know the difference one way or the other I wanted to hold off and wait until we were all able to get the ornaments at the same time.
By waiting until all the ornaments were here I felt that it made a small statement to the girls that together we are family. With Jasmine and Kiliegh going back and forth between their dad's I feel that "family" becomes confusing. I want them to realize that doing things together as a family is important. So here when we do family oriented things we wait until we are all together. Even if that means that we do it later than we had planned. The girls have separate visitation schedules and with Justin's work schedule sometimes "later" becomes "much later". However, that was not the case this time. Thanksgiving was on Thursday and we received the two ornaments on Friday and then we exchanged them today. Not a long wait at all.
Vada's ornament is "typical". It's her first Christmas, so we got her a porcelain rattle that says "Baby's First Christmas" on it.
Kiliegh's ornament is of a little "hip hop" dancing girl. This year we have finally found an activity that Kiliegh enjoys and that holds her attention. Dancing. I am not a parent that believes a child needs an extra curricular activity but at the same time I don't discourage them. Up until dance, for Kiliegh, she wanted to try out everything but liked nothing. When she came home asking to be in dance I was a bit skeptical. We have signed her up for so many different activities but she has wanted to quit them before barely starting them. Luckily, those activities were always seasonal things like soccer and T-Ball. Dance was a bit different. Dance was consistent. Never the less she has been doing dance all year. Her excitement has not diminished but grown and we have watched her self confidence grow with her experience. I was excited when I found her ornament, it fit her well.
Jasmine's ornament also fit her and her new love for a new activity. Karate. Karate was such a great choice for Jasmine. After Kiliegh began dance Jasmine wanted to go too. That choice was something that we did discouraged. The competition between Jasmine and Kiliegh is an issue and probably more so than typical siblings who live with both parents. Plus, since dance was the first thing that Kiliegh has enjoyed doing we really wanted it to be "her thing". So we suggested a few options to Jasmine. Some of her friends are in gymnastics, which is something that she has also stated that she would like to do again and she has in the past so we knew that it would be something that she would enjoy. We also suggested Taekwando which is something one of her best friends does. Then we brought up Karate. There is a place about two blocks up from us that we said she could ride her bike to and that would be all of her own (something her sister isn't doing and a place that her friends aren't going to). She chose Karate. Were glad that she did. She has been doing it for four months and is already getting promoted to her third belt, the orange belt. Her confidence has also is improved and we've noticed that the values being taught in martial arts are values that we as parents are trying to teach as well. It's a great activity all around!
Originally I really wanted to get a wind mill ornament for Justin. He designed and built his very own throughout the end of last year and the beginning of this year. He was so proud of it and it truly was amazing. It looked like something you would have to special order and spend thousands of dollar on. Plus, it really generated power. So, when I went searching and only found printed picture medallions with wind mills on them, I was very disappointed. I thought for sure as popular as the "going green" and the wind farms are becoming I would have easily found what I was looking for. However, I did finally settle on something else that went well with Justin's 2010 achievements. Justin has been a father for over five years now, but this year he has had his first baby. Justin's ornament is of a father figure holding a "new" and naked baby.It wasn't my first choice but I do think it was a good one.
While I was searching for Justin's ornament online Vada's nurse came over for one of her normal visits. When I explained what I was doing she suggested that I get myself a syringe to signify all of the injections that I gave to Vada. Justin and I both agreed that it was a good idea. However, that too was not something easily found. So what we got was a figurine that looks like a nurse. For the personalization we had "Momologist" printed on. Momologist is a trademark of one of my friends, Amy. I got the idea from her blog Momologist.com (formally Larkin's Place). Amy explained to me once that while she didn't put in years at medical school to become a Neurologist or a surgeon she has put in years of being a mom. Her specialty like mine is Momology. I think its clever and I am proud to be a Momologist.
So there it is. One of our family traditions and the story behind this years Christmas tree ornaments.