Saturday, March 30, 2013

Our Unconventional Celebrations

Because we are Custodial Grandparents we have devised some very Unconventional ways to Celebrate the Holidays in order to accommodate the G-Kid Force and the Extended Family and Close Friends that often wants to have them over for Holidays and Special Occassions.
Relationships are Important and I Believe that Quality Time spent with Extended Family... and Close Friends that have become Extended Family... during each Special Day of the Year is Enriching and Creates close Bonds that aren't easily broken. 
Holidays and Holy Days in particular are a way to Impart Family Traditions, Core Beliefs and Faith to the next Generation so that they fully Understand the Meaning of why we Celebrate each. 
Celebration without clear Understanding is hollow and superficial at best and confusing at worst.  Sure it can be Fun and Entertaining to jump into any Celebration and participate with carefree abandon and not even know the Meaning behind why the Celebration is taking place or why you're a part of it... but I don't know that you Connect to the Experience, Joy and Purpose in quite the same way?
I always wanted the Family to be Clear about why we Celebrate what we do and the Meaning to us behind each Holiday, Holy Day, Cultural Experience and Celebration we choose to Honor and be a part of.  
Keeping the explanation Age Appropriate and Embracing some of the purely Entertaining Holiday Kitsch, Characters and Activities that might not have anything to do with the Original Meaning but adds a layer of Tradition that we Enjoy.
And because each Child might not be present with us on the Actual Day of a Celebration if they're spending it with Extended Family or Friends we have developed the Custom and Unconventional Methods that ensure that it is Enjoyed by all with all of those who they have Close Relationship with.
Because the Young Prince will be spending Easter with Paternal Relatives we handed out the Easter Baskets early so that he and his Sister Received them together.  And we will have at least a couple of Easter Egg Hunts and Egg Coloring Sessions while he's absent and when he returns.
There never need be a Holiday that any of the Family misses with someone they want to be Present and Celebrate the Joy and Occassion with... so we just prolong and extend our Celebrations, Holy Day and Holiday or Cultural Experiences for days before, during and after each.
We might hand out presents we purchased for them early or late rather than on the actual day... or wait until everyone is Home together.  And because we have always done it this way it has become their Normal Method of Celebration and Tradition so there are no protests or feelings that it has to be a certain way because that's how everyone else is doing it.
We might wait to have the Special Meals... or have them several times over a period of days rather than at one sit-down, so that if even one person is absent, when they return they won't have really missed anything of our Traditions and Activities really.
For me these Unconventional Methods are actually a carry-over from my own Childhood because my Dad's long Military Career and line of work often meant that our Family was separated during Holidays, Holy Days and Celebrations and Dad had to be absent for the actual days so many of the times.
So we often did our Celebrating Early, Late or whenever we could all be together as a Family.  We developed Unusual Traditions that became our Usual so that Dad could join us, which was more Important to us than Celebrating on a Traditional Day and without him present.
And during The Man's long Military Career we had similar Family separations during the Holidays, Holy Days and Special Celebrations... so our Children adapted and improvised like I had as a Child, to ensure Daddy didn't have to miss everything when he was not able to be Home.
As Custodial Grandparents we're able to spend many more Special Times with the two Grandchildren we're raising than the average Grandparent and that is so Special.  
 We're still doing some things that if we weren't still raising young Children we might have just not done every year anymore.  So in many ways I'm glad we still get to Enjoy and Plan those things with this next Generation.
But it also means that they could feel conflicted about who else to Celebrate with if we didn't make a Special Effort to be Creative about Sharing the Special Days with as many Relatives and Friends as possible and having all of the Adults voluntarily on the same page about how best to divide Quality Time so that everyone Benefits from the Arrangement.
It isn't really Important to us what actual days are spent Celebrating... what is most Important to us is that we get to Celebrate it Together as a Family.  And because we have a blended Family with lots of Extended Family Members there are a lot of folks to Celebrate with and Share the G-Force with... and to us the more the Merrier!
So do I mind having several days of Easter Egg Hunts in the Garden?  Not one bit, I'm a big Kid at Heart and firmly Believe that though growing Old might be mandatory, growing up is entirely optional! 
But I must say that some Holidays and Holy Days seem to Rush right up on us don't they?  This year Easter was one of them for me!  It seems that last Year I was more Organized and Prepared earlier... or that Easter came later... I'm not sure?  *LOL*
No Seriously... I was thinking Easter was in April... not the end of March... so it completely threw me off my Game and then I was hustling to prepare everything I needed to get ready for a very Important Holy Day.
Usually I have more Volunteers to Help... but this Year everyone was rather lethargic about being Motivated or was dealing with Health Issues.  Princess T, who is usually my Right-Hand Prepping and Styling Advisor for any Important Celebration hasn't been Well so she'd have the Desire, but not necessarily the Energy or Stamina to follow through.
Even Yul had spent time recovering from a foot injury, though he's much better now.  So they spent more time watching Gramma Prep everything... Delegating the responsibilities to the one person left standing... well, on my one good foot anyway.  *LOL*
Yes, I'll certainly be Glad when the Whole Team is feeling better so that I have more Volunteers and Helpers.  Maybe that's why I didn't get so much done earlier... yeah... that's a decent Excuse to use... I'll go with that one... *Winks*
Though Truth be told I've fallen behind in so many things lately that I'm perpetually playing catch-up it seems.  This Season of Life has certainly forced me to slow down... and sometimes I feel as though I'm moving at the speed of death and far too much is left undone and waiting for me to get my second wind!!!  *LOL*
Providing I even get that second wind that is!?!  Sometimes it's a long time coming...
But Time doesn't wait you know... it keeps marching on even if you're lagging behind trying to catch up to what's coming up next!  *Smiles*  And this Year, well, I'm lagging and sometimes even lollygagging on Purpose with no real sense of Urgency.
Like right now for Example... I'm still sitting here in my Jammies... after waking Early, giving the G-Kid Force their Easter Baskets and hiding a few Eggs in the Garden for an Impromptu Blog Post about Easter.
Even though I'm supposed to be at my Antique Mall's Event at THE BRASS ARMADILLO WEST because the G-Kid Force wanted to Win one of those Free Hams being given away every Hour on the Hour Today!  *LOL*
And though I did foof the Showroom for Easter...
And parts of the House too...
It is always a Work in Progress as you are Styling around a busy Family and Customers...
So there is always Work to be done even if you think you've finally got it to a place where you want it to be... it will be a brief Moment in Time that it actually stays that way... and I Photograph it Quickly since it will be subject to Change without Notice!  *Smiles*
Example: My Friend Pamela helped me to move one of the Antique Dining Sets in my Showroom and set it up for a faux Easter Dinner Vignette and Photograph it for an Event Blog Post.  Within Hours it had Sold... which was great News... but then I had all the Smalls on the floor and this big gaping space just before a Big Event and I hadn't even uploaded the Photos yet!!!  *LOL*  I'm not Complainin', but that's just how it goes, right?
So that meant having to bring in some more Furniture and other Inventory in FAST to replace everything that had Sold and Re-Style the Room the Night before the Event so that it wouldn't look so empty!
But the majority of my Easter and Spring Inventory had Sold out early so I went with a Retro Schoolhouse Theme and Two Dollar Olivewood Jerusalem Rosary Special... hey, ya gotta work with what you have left right?  *Winks*
But you could get this Awesome 1969 Rhyme Time Game that I was Jazzed to Source for the Showroom and put in last Night... Loving the Graphics on the Box... so Classic Sixties!
And it's Complete and in Excellent Condition for it's Age... which is always a Bonus when you 'Score' a Vintage Game!
And it was tough but I let this Vintage Duck Planter go because The G-Force told me he really didn't go with my Vintage Exotic Bird Planter Collection and looked out of place... so Bye-Bye Ducky... I like him though so if he doesn't Sell... well, you know... *Winks*
And though not in my Showroom I HAD to Show you a few Treasures at the Mall that caught my Eye like this nesting Bowl trio of one of my Fav Vintage Hues and Brands in my Friend Shelly's Booth...
And this Antique Remembrance oversized Photo Button... I Love these and only own one... would Love to have this one too.
But I did come away with some Springtime Treasures for Bohemian Valhalla just before the Event since I doubted they would still be there if I didn't spring on them early... The 7-Up Crate was a mere Ten Bucks and they make great Storage.  
Fab Large Heavy Antique Art Nouveau Lamp with a Trio of Nubile Ladies around it was only Seventeen Bucks!

Color me Happy!!!
And my Fav 'Score' was this Awesome HUGE Pink Metal, White Victorian Ceiling Tin and Wood Rustic Tool Box that a Dealer Friend had as a Display and agreed to Sell me at an Amazing Price out of her Booth!!!
She's is such a tiny Adorable little Pixie Sprite that I don't even know how she manages to carry some of the Huge Found Treasures she brings in?!?  But like me she Adores the Rusty, the Crusty and Industrial Salvage and Rescues some AMAZING pieces so you can always find a wealth of Great Treasures in her Booths.  This is the Original Color and Patina of the Tool Box... Funny since an Old Farmer had it and probably just used whatever Salvage he had to construct it regardless of Hue!  *LOL*
Okay... so the Young Prince will be picked up soon by his Aunt for his Easter Weekend of Fun with the Paternal Side... and The Man and Princess T are going to want to head to the Mall to try to Win a Free Easter Ham!  *LOL*
So I better get dressed and in gear hadn't I?  Since apparently everyone is waiting on ME!?!  *Smiles*
I do Hope you've Enjoyed your Virtual Easter Egg Hunt with us?
And that you too will have an Abundantly Blessed and Memorable Easter too my Friends!!! 
He Is Risen... and that is The Good News Indeed for all of Mankind!!!
May you come to Know Him in a Relational way and Cultivate that Relationship Daily and not just Honor Him and be a Witness on His behalf during the Holy Season... but all Year long... by how you Live your Life Daily, Reflecting His Great Love Outwards and Extended towards others with the Love of Jesus.
Happy Easter Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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