Tag: Holiday traditions

Sweet Lorane Community News, October 27, 2022

Fern Ridge-Tribune News
The Chronicle (Creswell)
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 27, 2022
By Pat Edwards

The holidays are, once again, approaching way too fast. I walked into a store a few weeks ago—it was barely October or possibly before our trip in late September—and was horrified to see the aisles lined with cases of Christmas merchandise ready to be put on the shelves as soon as the Halloween stuff was due to be displaced.

Our family’s holiday traditions and activities have been transitioning over the past decade or so as the numbers of grandkids and great-grandkids grow. Jim and I are at the point now where we only buy gifts for the children. As our grandchildren become adults and marry, they begin forming their own family traditions, as they should, and as great-grandparents of a whole horde of great-grandchildren, we want to help instill a love of family and family traditions while not bankrupting ourselves at the end of each year.

Our holiday contributions to the adults involves lottery scratch-offs for Christmas and centers around family Thanksgiving dinners and a place to gather each year. In our house, as our numbers approach 25 or 30, there’s no way we can all sit down at the dining room table to eat. Instead, we all form a circle around the table, holding hands, as Stephanie or Chad says grace to give thanks; then we all dish up our plates and head for a seat at numerous tables, chairs and couches around the living room, family room and dining room where we visit, watch football on Jim’s ever-present TV, catch up on the family news, and reminisce about days gone by. There’s always lots of laughter as the children, having finished their meals, run around, trailing pull-toys, giggling, playing with the kitten and climbing on Papa’s exercise bike. Occasionally, in days past, as things quiet down, a group of us would start dealing cards at one table for games of Contract Rummy, while a smaller group of four settle in for a game of Pinochle.

For us, it’s not so much about the gifts we give or receive, but of the time we share with each other; a time for counting our blessings, filled with wonder on how fortunate we all are to have each other in our lives.

I’d like to be able to enjoy each holiday in its own time… to savor each one as it was meant to be; to form traditions that not always follow in the commercial path of glitz and glitter, expensive gifts and out-doing and out-spending others. Everyone needs to evaluate their own traditions and decide what works best for their own family. But for me, I usually walk past all of those Christmas aisles as I enter a store. When I’m ready to celebrate and acknowledge the holiday, I’ll follow our own traditions as we grow as a family.

Connie Suing of the Crow Grange asked me to announce their upcoming Community Holiday Potluck and Open House (formerly called the Crow Thanksgiving Dinner) to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, at the Crow Grange. Everyone is asked to bring a side dish, salad or dessert to share. The grange will provide turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. There will be fun activities for the kids, crafts to make and take home, and visits with Santa. They will also be accepting donations of canned and non-perishable foods for the Holiday Helpers food baskets.

I’ll get information on the Lorane holiday activities and events in a future column.
Happy Fall everyone!!

Sweet Lorane Community News, December 17, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
December 17, 2020
By Pat Edwards

The 2020 holiday season is here and like so many others I have talked to, I’m having difficulties feeling any excitement or joy. We have all been surrounded by so much turmoil, throughout the year — dealing with the pandemic, racial unrest, the destruction of homes and families by the wildfires, the major hit to our local, small business economy and the on-going, heart-wrenching political dissent with its finger-pointing and blame being laid at the feet of whoever disagrees with us. Depression has been common.

Families are nervous about making plans to get together—trying to find compromises about what they want to do and what they know they should do. Ours is no exception. Like most families, we do not all share the same ideological beliefs. The degrees vary, but one thing that Jim and I do know—our family is unanimous in shielding us from the virus in any way they can.

We are a large, loving family that until 2020, gathered a lot throughout the year. We cherish our family barbecues during the summer, our large family vacations, our birthday and achievement celebrations throughout the year and, most especially, our holiday traditions.

During the last two years, Jim and I have both been able to cuddle a baby in our arms while we watch their older siblings and cousins swim in our daughter’s pool, or ride their ponies, hold baby lambs, swing and slide on their play sets and otherwise form bonds so tightly that these great grandchildren of ours will carry the same traditions on to their own kids some day. We are very much aware of how much we have been blessed, and also how much we need to hold on to the memories that we are making now even though we must limit them. It has been our hope that our family’s willingness to sacrifice this year may mean that we can all be together next year.

This past week, I realized that I had no desire to decorate our home for Christmas. We have made no plans to have our cookie decorating party this year, or the Christmas morning breakfast that we usually have. I have been getting and making gifts for the little ones, but I have no idea if I’ll be able to see them open them on Christmas Day. But, when Jim and I went out to fill the orders on the two ornaments we took off of the Lorane Angel Tree, we enjoyed searching for gifts that would be special to the unnamed local kids who had requested them. Then, we got to meet our son’s new St. Bernard/Mastiff puppy that he just brought home. Happy puppy kisses and the beautiful decorated tree in his living room brightened our day.

The next day, I brought home my Christmas decorations and began putting up our tree. I decided to get out the original decorations I had used when our own kids were small this year. When I opened the tub they were in, on the top I saw a familiar box. I lifted the top and, amid the cotton that filled it, was a small purple drawstring bag. I replaced the lid and set the box aside until I had strung the lights and hung all but one of the ornaments on the tree. I reserved a limb at the front and the very top of the tree as a place of honor for that last ornament. I carefully opened the royal purple bag and took out the very fragile, faded Santa Claus that had adorned so many of our trees over the years. It had been given to me by my mother many years ago. It had belonged to her when she was a little girl in Long Beach, California… and I realized that it was now over 100 years old. Just placing that special ornament on the tree brought back not only the love of the angel who has been sitting on my shoulder since my mother passed in 2012, but the peace and goodwill that I’ve always felt at Christmas time.

May we all experience goodwill and peace in our hearts this holiday season and may we all have an angel sitting on our shoulders to remind us of our blessings!