For years, the older ladies in my family had a tradition: they would take one day each year, usually late November, sometimes early December, and it would be Family Shopping Day. Once all of us kiddos were dropped off at school, they would meet for breakfast at Carrows or Coco’s, someplace like that. After breakfast, they would all head to Fashion Valley for some Christmas shopping. They didn’t’ stay to together the whole time, there were too many. They’d break off into twos and threes and fours and start knocking things off their to-do list. Usually they’d meet at some restaurant in the mall at a specific time for lunch and compare progress. They must have had a blast; they all looked forward to it so much!
I remember always wishing that I didn’t have to go to school so that I could go with them. I was so excited when, in 8th grade, I started home schooling. That meant that if I worked ahead and got everything done, I could go too! So much fun!!! We kept it up for several more years.
Over time though, it started to change. Some moved away, some got too old to walk around that much, some died. It became a thing of the past, as far as the whole family goes. Grandma, Mom and I kept going, though. We’d have breakfast, shop all day, have lunch or dinner together. It was a tradition that we determined to keep up, even if there were only three of us.
Grandma died on December 1, 2006. That year, mom and I didn’t really do any Christmas shopping; we had to use our time out to buy clothes for Grandma’s funeral. Somehow, I think Grandma would have liked that; that we still got out and shopped.
It’s more difficult these days to make it out; we have to work around baseball games and other craziness in our schedule. We made it last year, though, and today, we’ll do it again. Mom and I are meeting for breakfast at 9am this morning and then we’ll hit the malls. It’s not the same with out my Grandma, I really do miss her. But we’ll have fun. We’ll do some shopping, have lunch, and maybe even hit a movie.
Some traditions you just have to keep alive…