Bowling - A New Holiday Tradition

Image for Bowling - A New Holiday Tradition

Ahh the holidays, a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate, share traditions, presents and lots of good food. I love this time of year, a chance to have our children and grandchildren over for gift giving, stocking stuffing and family dinners. Over the years however, as our children have grown and started families of their own, it has gotten more and more difficult to maintain the same family traditions and gatherings we once had. After all, they now have obligations of their own, what with in-laws wanting their share of family time, children with their own schedules and so on. Who get’s the grandkids on Christmas Day? Who claims Christmas Eve for their special time? And when do my children and their kids get to spend special family time of their own? It can become quite a battle!

My husband and I have had to learn to be flexible. A couple I know, with a blended family of grown children each with families of their own, opted to give their kids some space one Christmas and fly to Paris for the holiday, just the two of them. Ooh, now that sounds tempting, I would love to spend Christmas in Paris. But since both my budget and my deep-down desire to spend time with my grandchildren prohibited that approach for my husband and I, we chose to start a new tradition last year – Christmas Eve bowling.

We started mid-afternoon so that we had plenty of time to get in three games, then back to the house for a buffet dinner and gift giving, wrapping things up early evening. That way, the kids could head home to get ready for their own holiday activities. My granddaughter and I spent two days shopping for prizes – silly ones for things like first strike, most gutter balls and funniest bowling form (My daughter Jen did this weird little hop when she threw the ball, which actually worked quite well for her. I think she’s been playing too much Wii.). We even found an old 2-foot tall trophy my daughter had won years ago and repurposed it. What fun when the entire family showed up in stocking hats and wild socks. As you can see by the photo we are a goofy looking bunch. It was girls against guys and since the girls had fewer numbers and our granddaughter was the youngest, we got to use the bumpers. Of course, I didn’t need them – wink. I’m proud to say the girls won quite handily, easily beating the jocks in our family. Nick, our oldest grandson, came away with the grand prize, the Visocky Bowlathon High Score Trophy. He was thrilled to have beaten his dad and uncles and even posted his achievement on Facebook. We informed him it was a traveling trophy and he needed to keep it safe in his room until next year. (Now, that could be scary.)

We’re not really a bowling family and actually quite comical to watch. Our scores are pretty embarrassing. But the laughter, camaraderie and playful ribbing made it one of the best Christmases ever!

Our bowling tournament is a new tradition – at least for now, until once again it no longer works for us. But in this now I will enjoy this time of laughter, of family. To me that’s what makes my Christmas. For those of you who do not have family close, perhaps you can create your own traditions with friends. It’s easy; there is only one requirement – Joy.

Wishing you wonderful holiday traditions of joy and laughter.

Donna

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