So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much!

p.s. my mom now refers to me as the family "chronicler" - getting down all the family stories. How I love that title!! :)

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Is it okay to change family traditions?

1996 Christmas at our house in the mountains
At Christmas we often stress out over trying to continue traditions that no longer appeal to everyone in the family. I remember the time, after Mother was sick, that Gay and I told all the family it was too hard on Mother to hold the Christmas gift-giving at her house as we had always done. In years before, we had drawn names at Thanksgiving and I heard my sisters-in-law mourn and gripe for the next month about what family member they had to buy a gift for. That was stressful to me.

But when we changed the tradition and my siblings exchanged gifts at home with their children, we continued to get together for a family dinner.

For many years, Barry and I held the Beall family Christmas gathering at our house in Albany. We had built a big beautiful house with lots of room in 1975.
For a long time, Gay and Stu and June and her girls came to our house for gift opening on Christmas morning before going to the “big house”, my parents’ home, for the big feast.

After Barry and I moved to the mountains to a smaller house, we no longer invited the Beall family or my sisters and June’s children to our house for Christmas. Instead we went to Gay's and Stu's nice big house in Roswell and to the home of one of Richard Beall’s children.

In this article, , Martha Beck explains why she thinks it is okay to change some family traditions when they don’t work for us anymore.


I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday you observe. If you don’t have family near, I hope you will be with others to share this special season of love and peace.

I have a full week ahead with lunches and meetings with writers I know and enjoy. I plan to spend Christmas with my family. Although I have one brother and one sister left from the seven of us, I will remember those who are gone, June, Ray, Hal, Rex, Yvonne, and my precious Barry during the holidays. The prayer before we eat always includes them. We feel they are with us in spirit.

We also spend Christmas Eve with friends we love and have shared our lives with for thirty years or more. How blessed I am to have friends and family who care about me, and whom I love so much.
If I don’t get back to this blog before Christmas, I will post again around New Year’s. Till then, Dear Readers, be safe.


DJan said...

The same wishes I send your way, too. I hope all of your family has the opportunity to start new family traditions! Best wishes of the holiday season. :-)

Elephant's Child said...

Of course it is ok to change traditions. Every tradition starts that way.
I hope your Christmas is wonderful and that the carefully burnished memories bring you comfort and warmth.

Abbie Taylor said...

Thank you for sharing your Christmas memories. I'm glad you have family and friends around you this time of year and wish you happy holidays.

Glenda Council Beall said...

Thank you, DJan, Elephant's Child and Abbie, for your loyalty and for your comments. You are the best!