Mother’s Day


IMG_6402 crop2, https://huffygirl.wordpress.com, © Huffygirl 2015This weekend we set aside a day to honor mothers. While this should be a day where we honor the sacrifices our mother made to give us life, to teach, and to nurture us, instead it often becomes a day for cynics to arise and promote negative ideas about Mother’s Day. Some say that mother’s day denigrates women who do not choose motherhood. Others say it makes those with bad mother’s or unhappy childhoods feel sad and isolated. Still others think that the commercialization of this holiday has ruined it, making all things Mother’s Day cheap and insincere. I could go on.

In the late 1800’s Anna Jarvis espoused a wish to have a day to honor all mothers, and wrote this prayer: “I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.”  Anna appreciated her own mother and recognized the difficulty of the work of mothering, and its contribution to society. She was intelligent enough to know that honoring  one group, i.e. mothers, does not defame or lessen the importance of  non-mothers and others. She worked tirelessly to have mother’s day established as a national holiday, and it finally was declared  so in 1914. Anna later regretted the commercialization of Mother’s Day, but held true to her belief that mothers should be honored.

In this country we have many days set aside to honor different people and things. Some are silly, like National Hat Day, or fun like National Pie Day. Some are serious like Veteran’s Day, and some are overly commercialized, like Valentine’s Day, and yes, Mother’s Day. Should we then not celebrate pie because cake will feel hurt?  Are socks insulted on Hat Day? Do non-veterans become offended on Veteran’s Day? The answer to all of these questions is of course, no. In a mature and enlightened society, we should have the common sense to recognize that honoring one group does not insult the opposite group. As a nation, we must not lose sight of the reasons we have chosen to recognize certain ones – for dedication, loyalty, commitment, service. These values matter and deserve to be honored.

This Mother’s Day I will remember my mom for all she did for me, and all mothers for their contribution to society.

© Huffygirl 2015

A Christmas tree for Scarface


A storm brewing over the tree farm, or my finger over the lens?

A storm brewing over the tree farm, or my finger over the lens?

Suppose you’re feeling down because you fell and broke your face, and nothing has seemed right since. What could cheer you up more than going out to cut a Christmas tree on a bright sunny day, unless of course you are Jewish, in which case, it wouldn’t cheer you up at all. But, since I am not Jewish, is was just the what I needed.

Best Husband and I loaded up the family van, which ironically, has no family at all to ride in it, and headed out with the required accoutrements:

  • a genuine 1960’s snowmobile suit, a wardrobe staple since our kids were old enough to be embarrassed by their parent’s outfits
  • a beat-up orange hand saw, rescued from my dad’s garage, also circa 1960
  • old shoes and boots for slogging through the tree farm mud
  • an entry coupon for the tree farm’s annual  “Win $500 dollars” drawing, which we have dutifully completed since 1974, and as far as we know, has never been won by anyone

A half hour later we had reached our destination: a family owned local Christmas tree farm, which despite being within spitting distance of my childhood home, I had never visited until I grew up, moved away  and married the man with the snowmobile suit.

Being Christmas tree pros, we headed right to the Douglas Fir section. Eschewing our usual tactic of wandering around among 50 to 75 trees and finally picking one when we were too cold to no longer care, we instead drove to the far end of the Douglas Fir section, ogling the choices along the way. In the end, when we finally got out to walk among the tree choices, we picked the second one we saw. This sure beats our usual method of letting our frozen brains make the choice, and was ironic to boot, since the day was especially balmy for Michigan, and we could have afforded to wander among the trees for some time without risk of freezing.

Best Husband, grounded.

Best Husband, grounded.

The rest of our cut your own Christmas tree tradition involved our handing over the tree to underpaid tree farm workers, who stand out in the cold all day and half the night from Thanksgiving to December 24th, putting trees through the shaker and baler and helping city folks load them into their yuppie vans and SUVs. Sometimes this includes broad gestures and lots of nodding if the workers happen to be non-English speaking migrants, which only adds to the charm of this annual event.

Once home, our tree awaits the appropriate time for decorating, as BH and I are not the kind of people who put up Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving.

Trees for Christmas Future.

Trees for Christmas Future.

Related post:

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Kling (huffygirl.wordpress.com)

Christmas shopping=bah humbug (huffygirl.wordpress.com)

© Huffygirl 2013

 

 

Tradition


A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...

Traditional Christmas tree

Everyone has their own Christmas and other holiday traditions. Some of ours have lasted a lifetime. We’re sticking with a “real” Christmas tree, and turkey on Thanksgiving. Others have come and gone with changes as our family grew up. We no longer have a big crowd of relatives on Christmas day, but the freedom from cooking for a  big crowd gave way to the new tradition of having a relaxing day that ends with going to a movie. And if we can’t have the family with us, Skype is the next best thing for making us feel like we’re together. This year we’re trying a couple new ones. We thought having chili and corn bread as a new tradition for Christmas eve dinner was a keeper. Still undecided about the new one of cooking a standing rib roast for Christmas day dinner. Maybe if we can find a way to do it without messing up the entire oven. Otherwise, that one may have to go.

What are your family holiday traditions? What works, what has had to change with time? What new traditions are you trying out this year?

Photo credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Malene

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