When does a tradition start? When does a tradition become a tradition? What is a tradition? I think a tradition is something that is is repeated (no matter how silly) year after year,interwoven by a thread of family and friends. It’s like looking at those books and photo albums on your grandparents’ bookshelves. You’ve looked at them so many times that you don’t have to take them down to know what’s in them.Â When our friend Catriona (who is from Wales) brought her traditional “flaming pudding” over for dessert accompanied by lasagna, a memory in me was rekindled. Lasagna for me means tradition. No matter what holiday meal we celebrated at Nana Louise’s and Grandpa Sandy’s there was a lasagna. Thanksgiving was turkey and lasagna. At Easter it was a ham and lasagna. Anyone’s birthday, it was cake, and lasagna. At Christmas it was usually seafood and some kind of meat and of course, lasagna.
Catriona makes great lasagna, almost as good as Nana Louises’. After our dinner of lasagna, bra-sol,e stuffed artichokes (for which I called my Dad for guidance )and Caesar salad, we waddled down to Ocean Ave. to see the Santa Monica tradition of “The Christmas Story”.
A tradition since 1953, it consists of tableaus of biblical scenes highlighting the birth of the Baby Jesus. Getting slightly off the path here but here’s a link to a wonderful Mary and Joseph story by Dina Donahue we heard read at a holiday concert last week. Anyways, back to Santa Monica-Â Each tableau, sponsored by a local church is comprised of old mannequins from Henshey’s Department Store(defunct since 1993) dressed in fake beards, topsider loafers, and caftans from old Henshey’s stock telling “The Christmas Story.” If you are ever in Santa Monica at Christmas do go see it. The city has blocked off parking in front of the tableau’s so you can see the Christmas Story the true So Cal. way – Drive Thru- I’ll have an order of frankincense, myrrh, and large fries.
Back home for the flaming pudding! (everything taste better when it’s on fire)
Another tradition we seem to be upholding at our house this year is that it’s 2 days before Christmas (it’s practically here) and we haven’t got our Christmas cards out yet, so I’m signing off to get back to licking envelopes. Merry Christmas!