Sunday, November 28th, 2010

This year in our normal fashion, the Donovan household watched Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving special and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving if we didn’t watch them.

It all begins with Charlie Brown’s The Great Pumpkin. We watch it faithfully around Halloween. I have seen it every year. As soon as the music begins I am whisked down Nostalgia Lane back to sitting in our little den watching it with my brothers as a child. I laugh at the same parts and am not bothered by the fact that I can recite the whole episode almost word for word.

After Halloween and Thanksgiving the traditions continue. ┬áThe tree…the lights…the music…the movies…the food…the time with family…the smells…the decorations…the eggnog…the presents…the sights…the holiday cards…the list is abundant.

This isn’t the first time I have talked about tradition and it probably won’t be the last. Some families don’t participate in any rituals and that is fine. For us, these observances are the things that shape our perceptions of the season. They personify a sentiment that we pass from our parents to our children. Our enjoyment of the family traditions is the glue that binds our family holiday experience.

Some of it can all get rather silly I know. But it brings out the child in me and in Robert. And makes our girls giddy with glee. That is the best tradition of all!

Hattie is Linus…

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

I love Charlie Brown. Growing up, my family holiday traditions always included watching the Charlie Brown specials on TV. I have fond memories of watching it with my brothers and laughing at the same scenes year after year.

One of my favorite Peanuts characters is Linus. He carries around his beloved blue blanket while he philosophizes about life and waits for the Great Pumpkin. I never thought I’d have a Linus of my own but I do. Hattie is Linus. She has a yellow fuzzy blankie. She takes it everywhere. All three of my girls have a special blankie but Hattie is the only one who has clung to hers with this much devotion for this long. We don’t let blankies leave the house unless we’re on a trip but she carries hers around the house all day. She makes it into a cape. We’ve figured out how to make it into a one-shouldered dress. She is soothed by it when she is upset. It is a tea party tablecloth or a picnic blanket. She ties it around her head like a turban. She can fashion a papoose for her dolls. The possibilities are endless!

It all began when Hattie was about 15 months old. She couldn’t fall asleep until she could rub the hem of her blankie between her fingers. We don’t know why…it’s just something she started doing on her own. Then she started wrapping it around her head in her sleep. Now, at 6 and a half, I have to unwrap it from her neck every night before we go to bed so she won’t sweat to death!

Hattie’s love of her blankie has become one of her special traits. I know at some point she will start having blankie-less adventures. I just hope it holds together until then!!