I'm participating in The Red Dress Club writing meme this week! It's an easy one. We were given a word - tradition - or the following photo to use as our inspiration. I chose to go with both.
My family had a lot of wonderful holiday traditions. Many of which I am carrying on with my husband and daughter. And with my parents nearby, I look forward to our new expanded family being together for Christmas. I have so many happy memories; I love this time of year.
But for some reason, the annual decking of the halls always seemed to cause extremely un-holiday-like behavior in my parents when I was growing up. Dad would be tense, Mom would be on edge. It was a recipe for trouble. Putting up the outdoor lights in particular was guaranteed to result in an argument. It almost never failed.
One year, my parents were out in the front yard putting up the lights, and things were getting pretty heated. (Can you say, "Howdy, neighbors?") Their voices were becoming louder and louder. Some Rated "M" for mature language was being used. It was building to a ugly crescendo. And then, suddenly, there was silence.
It was followed shortly by howling laughter. And while I was upstairs in my room and did not see a thing, I knew exactly what had happened. My parents had flipped each other off. I went downstairs to investigate and sure enough, they had indeed exchanged the International Sign of Friendship. Which they both found hysterical.
That was the end of the disagreement. The mood instantly improved. They finished hanging the lights, plugged them in and we all walked out to the street to oooh and aaah. Then we went inside and spent a lovely evening by the fire listening to Christmas music and getting in to the holiday spirit in our newly-decorated abode.
My parents will soon celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They have been through lots of good times, and plenty of not-so-good. Through it all, one valuable lesson they taught me is you always have to be able to laugh together. No matter what life throws your way. They were the shining example of that, and the different kind of holiday bird moment is one of my all-time favorite memories.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!