Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Schmatterday!

I have heard it said that family traditions are important in a child's life.  They provide a sense of continuity, security and a sense of belonging that make little ones feel loved.  From personal experience, I would have to agree.

Our family has lots of traditions, some normal ... some bordering on nutty --- which is pretty much how this brood rolls.  Some were things the Geek and I did as children and introduced to one another and some are ones we have started ourselves.  Some have withstood the test of time.  Others have changed over time and continue to be tweeked and some are brand-spanking new. 

Of course there's been a few that we have had to let go of.  Sometimes it has been easy to do and other times it has been more painful, but necessary as they no longer work for us.  I use to joke that I had to be really careful with Boy Wonder when we tried something new.  If he liked the way it was done, I knew I better be prepared to do it from that way on or face his wrath.  He's a bit more flexible now, but it's still true to some extent.

We've got so many traditions and quirky things we do that I'd like to share, I think I might spread this out over a few blog posts.  I'll start here with one of our favorite Christmas season traditions, but before I start --- what about you?  Do you and yours have any interesting family traditions?  I bet you do and I'd love to hear about them!

A few years ago I saw a couple dozen adorable boot-shaped glass mugs for sale at a garage sale.  The Geek was on a major clean and purge cycle and had decreed no more glasses unless I had a really, REALLY good reason.  Truth be told, we had acquired an excessive amount of glassware.  We had wine glasses and water goblets.  There were margarita glasses and beer mugs (odd since we don't drink either, but you never know...)  We had shelves of juice glasses and my complete collection of vintage 1980 Holly Hobbie glasses from Arby's.  Well, apparently he didn't share my affinity for glassware ... the ol' party pooper!   Deep down I knew he was probably right, but when I saw the boot glasses, I just couldn't resist.  I  showed them to the Geek and he rolled his eyes and said something like, "I thought we agreed no new glasss."  Quickly I came up with a plan, "These are Schmatterday glasses, you know the day you put up the Christmas tree. It's called Schmatterday, because it schmatters and these glasses are perfect for the Scmatterday toast."  Knowing it was best not to question me (he's such a good man) he let me get five of them and the idea for Schmatterday was born.

Remember I said some of traditions were a little quirky? Here's proof.

That first year after we put up the tree with the chicklets, we decided to make strawberry shakes as a treat.  I'd actually forgotten about the glasses, but the Geek hadn't and served the shakes in them.  When it came time to toast, the Munchkin (having just gone through a viewing marathon of Toy Story and making an obvious take-off of Woody the Cowboy's line, "There's a snake in my boot!") held her glass up and said with a cowboy twang, "There's a shake in my boot!" to which someone responded, "Shake your bootie!"  and a tradition was set.

Truthfully, it's still a work in progress. The chicklets say we have to settle on an official Schmatterday feast to round out the celebration.  Over the years we've noshed on assorted hors d'oeuvres, Mexican and Chinese take-out.  This year we gave turkey and all  the fixins' a try.  Our brood isn't sure we have found "the one" yet, but we're leaning towards  Chinese take-out as the "keeper".

Last year we shared the "holiday" with my parents.  We were going through some rough times with the death of my sister, but the kids asked if we could still "do" Schmatterday.  They needed the comfort of routine in their little world right then, so we went ahead with it.  It still brings a smile to my face when I picture my eighty-six year old daddy raising his glass and shaking it as he said the "Official Schmatterday Toast" with just  the right touch of country twang.  It was just what we needed to bring a bit of joy back in our lives. 

Now that it's become a tradition, we treat those silly boot glasses with tender loving care.  It would be a tragedy if one broke!  I have managed to find a few more at thrift stores, but I could kick myself in the bootie for not getting all of them that I saw at that first sale.  I mean, what are the grandkids going to drink out of someday??? 

Am I getting carried away?  Maybe just a little, but one thing is for sure, this is a tradition my littles look forward to each year. 

"There's a shake in my boot!
Shake your bootie!"
The Official Schmatterday Toast
Don't forget ... ya gotta shake it and say it like a cowboy.  Yee haw!  

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