Our swiftly approaching move to the land Down Under has uprooted the family traditions we’ve started since our first child was born 6 years ago.
Why forgo? Many reasons, but for one, it’s not a family tradition if the whole family isn’t there to enjoy it. This move has meant my husband has had to commute to and from Australia in 2 six week stints. Between the 2 stints, we did what we could to achieve the “annual” tag for the family activity. We sure did go pumpkin picking at this huge farm an hour away from the house like we always did, but we went early in the season (September) on an 80 degree day, and Daddy was gone again before the time was right to carve the pumpkins. So they sat and still do on our front porch uncarved. Daddy missed Halloween trick or treating, so I left the house decorations up until he came home and we are still all eating candy.
Now, celebrating our daughters’ birthdays one week apart around Thanksgiving is the payoff for missing Halloween. Daddy refused to miss these huge milestones, so we are back on track in the best way.
This means for me, Mommy has to make choices about other things we forego due to our belongings currently being sorted, donated, trashed, organized, packed before the movers carry it all away for the slow boat in a couple short weeks. It’s always been important for me to make them a homemade cake or cupcakes for their special days and ya know, that’s the furthest thing from my mind right now. Not to mention I will be selling my KitchenAid standing mixer as quickly as I can–it’s going to cost HOW much in Oz? I will however, substitute that with making fruit kabobs for the school celebrations and ordering a sheet cake from Costco for their joint birthday party (something I said I would always keep separate). I still have to get through Thanksgiving dinner, which now features an already cooked turkey from Whole Foods!!
Next holiday up, Christmas. How do we do this when our ornaments are on the ocean on their way to our new continent? Breathe, I tell myself. No homemade Christmas cutout cookies with buttercream frosting. We will be OK! Tree, scaled down from our typical 9 foot live Douglas fir…. not sure at this moment but am thinking one of our new pines in the back yard may work! At least we have Christmas lights here as they won’t work in Oz! So we will light the heck out of a tree and due to our friends having a wine tasting party, our kids made decorations that we will save and put on the tree and offer up to Gramma to take as keepsakes.
Getting this all out in a blog is already lifting the Mommy guilt of not doing the annual traditions we love so much. I have to tell myself, we will create new ones, this is a blip for now, we can always celebrate fully when we get there in January, wait….Summer? Thinking ahead, depending on the weather at Christmastime, it may be too hot to even think about cranking the stove heat to bake!
Anyway, I am beginning to embrace the sacrifices we had to make to our traditions to take on this fantastic adventure, and realize there are new ones we have yet to create for ourselves. My December and the girls’ November birthdays mean we could actually have POOL PARTIES! Oh yes, I feel much better now.