Last year, I thought it would be nice to start a family Christmas tradition, since it was our first year living away from home. Froo & Boo painted a lovely birdhouse together, that we had on display on our fireplace mantle. I was looking forward to creating a cute neighbourhood of birdhouses.
As we were unpacking our Christmas decorations this year, I misplaced the birdhouse. I panicked. Because let’s face it, a tradition isn’t a tradition unless it’s repeated the following year. If lost, I would feel responsible for the loss of something that could have been, 20 years later, telling stories about each and every birdhouse… Who knew I could be so sentimental? Luckily, I found it a week later, hidden behind some cleaning supplies in the garage.
I should have been ecstatic, but I was a little disappointed–the birdhouse had discoloured to an icky taupe. I’m pretty sure the glitter paint was the culprit. Undeterred, Froo & Boo repainted the birdhouse with white acrylic paint. Afterwards, we sprinkled white fine glitter on top, which stuck to the wet paint. Much better.
Since I wasn’t sure if we’d continue this tradition, I didn’t purchase a birdhouse this year. Instead, we repainted the tiny birdhouses that Froo & Boo painted last year. They had been sitting on top of the fridge this whole time. I thought it would be simple, yet festive to paint monochromatic birdhouses, with the same colour of fine glitter. The birdhouses have a layer of mod podge, to seal in the glitter.
I remembered to date the birdhouses again this year:
Time to decorate!
Froo & I went to watch a performance of the Nutcracker together yesterday. She insisted on getting a nutcracker of her own. I tried to convince her to get the red one, but she chose this one and named him Lucas. He matches our Christmas decor.
I taped a piece of thread to the ceiling, for the Santa helicopter ornament to fly over the big birdhouse. Boo broke one of the propellers, but a bit of E6000 glue worked wonders.
Truthfully, if the kids remember this year’s birdhouses, they might remember that mommy lost her patience when there was white paint all over the kitchen table, Boo’s face and art smock. Oh the mess!
What I want the kids to remember about the day we painted the birdhouses this year? The evening we spent at the local ice rink where Froo & Boo take lessons, huddled together, watching young figure skaters grace the ice, some not-so-gracefully. There is nothing quite as heartwarming as the anticipation and hope for each skater to nail their jump and the positive encouragement whether or not they do. It was the coldest we have ever been in California. Froo went to sleep that night wearing 2 pairs of socks. Boo ate Nerds from the candy claw machine. They still make those??
I guess that’s why I want to create a family tradition–to have a visual reminder of how we spent our Christmas each year. Together as a family. Making time for each other. Besides, I have a terrible memory and I’d hate to forget these fleeting moments with Froo & Boo.
While writing this post, I came up with the most brilliant idea. Together with the hubs, I think we’ll write love notes and memories from our Christmas, roll them up tightly into tiny scrolls and pop them into the opening of the birdhouse. That way, we can shake them out in the future and be reminded of the love we share. xoxo.