We’ve added a new tradition to our family Christmas: cow-catching.
Following the special breakfast, which I’d gotten up early to bake, and the gift-opening, which didn’t take that long since there are only four of us and we’re all adults now (despite the fact that my husband and I can still be pretty immature), and the mid-morning hike, and the preliminary, early-afternoon dinner prep, Son #2 and I took our dog for a walk. When we returned, we found cows in our front yard.
Two of ’em. Well, one cow and one steer. (Hey, I’m a country girl, I know my farm animals.) Basic black–at least from a distance. Up close, the female turned out to be much more stylish. Her back was a nice russet color, her udder nearly white, and she sported a gorgeous red topknot–or would that be a cowlick?–on her forehead. We named her Lucy. Her escort, the steer, was a little plainer, and more shy. Bo, we decided. Bo kept his distance while Lucy accepted the carrot we fed her and licked our hands with her giant tongue.
My little family sprang into action. While I made phone calls to neighbors, then the sheriff, trying to determine if anyone knew whose cows these were, husband procured rope and Son #1 hid it behind his back while #2 distracted Lucy with another carrot. Soon she was tied to a handy telephone pole. (No attempt was made to capture Bo. Hey, we’re Washingtonians, not Texans. Real roping? Forget it.)
Unfortunately all our neighborliness went for naught. Despite someone from the sheriff’s office assuring me they’d find someone to “take care of it,” no one called us back. When darkness fell, we decided we couldn’t leave poor Lucy tied up all night, so we let her loose to find the feckless Bo, who’d ditched her. (I heard ’em walk past our bedroom window last night, so I guess she did, then returned hoping for another carrot snack.)
We don’t have many Christmas traditions, we Wings. Extended family is too far away to visit, and we’re a pretty pagan bunch, so The Church of the Great Outdoors is where we go to “worship.” We always go for a hike or at least a walk, even if it’s raining sideways like a couple of years ago. Here are our others:
Preparing food, then eating it, that’s a biggie. (This year, Son #2 made the chocolate pecan pie; I was so proud!)
Playing silly games like Yahtzee or Bananagrams–check.
Watching dumb movies on TV–check. Last night we switched back and forth between Pirates of the Caribbean III and Ocean’s 13.
Calling far-flung family members and friends–check.
Ummm…guess that’s about it. I know I could feel more sentimental or nostalgic about our lack of special traditions. We don’t have special dishes that we use only on Christmas, or a special grace to say. We don’t even have one special meal that we always have.
We just enjoy each other’s company. That’s our tradition, and it evolves beautifully with our evolving ages. (The four of us now total 163 years, if that tells you anything.) These days both boys have been playing a lot of guitar, teaching each other new chords and strums. Who knows what it will be next year? More cows? Sheep, pigs? Bring ’em on. As long as we can catch them TOGETHER, it’ll be plenty traditional for me.
What about you? What are your favorite holiday traditions? Any new ones evolving? Do share!