Traditions: Childhood Memories and the Fabric of Life

Guest Post by Julia Slike + her 5-year-old daughter Lexie

*This is the second guest post in our series by members of the Gutsy Goddess Society. Members were given the opportunity to share their holiday and New Year’s traditions and rituals with the Zen Jenny community. Enjoy!

I asked my daughter who is 5 what her favorite Christmas traditions are. Afterall, isn’t what we do as a parent to create wonderful childhood memories for our children as we help weave the fabric of their life? Here is what she said and my commentary …

1. Ice skating
Hmmm, her third Christmas we all got ice skates to use on our pond, which we let freeze over. The following spring we had what my husband called “dead fish soup.” Yup, ALL the fish in our pond died when we cut off the spring feeding to let it freeze over. Oops! That was the first and last winter we skated on the pond, but we did get a great family photo – one with my husband smiling, which is rare!

2. Decorating the tree
Honestly this does nothing for me, but my daughter LOVES to do the tree so I leave it all to her. This year we even strung popcorn (for two straight hours) to make garland — that was fun, a new tradition for sure!

3. Telling Santa what I want for Christmas
Every year we go to Bass Pro Shop to sit on Santa’s lap. And not just one of the “helper” Santas, “The Real Santa” … ya know the one from the North Pole! It is the same exact Santa every year. I hope he doesn’t retire anytime soon! This year she told him she wanted a Pink Red Ryder BB Gun. Then she asked Daddy, “why would Santa tell me I’d shoot my eye out?” (Editor’s note: love this! “Christmas Story” is a classic.)

4. Looking at Christmas cards
I know this was a favorite tradition of my mom’s when her dad would sit around the table and open the cards received that day. I’m glad my daughter enjoys it too. Might help that I am Christmas card designer. I design the cards for us and other families every year. What was once a career for me is now simply a tradition!

5. Opening presents
‘nuf said.

6. Putting the decorations up
See #2.

7. Matching jammies for me and my doll
A new tradition started by my mom this year. Lexie has never been one of those girls to carry a doll baby everywhere (which is why Santa brought her a LeapPad instead of an American Girl doll) and wouldn’t you know she now takes this doll everywhere with her!

8. My mom’s socks she wears on Christmas Day
I got a pair of red/white striped knee-high stockings with white fur at the top to wear every Christmas morning. Ya know so when my daughter looks back at pictures she’s like, “there’s mom and her goofy Christmas socks.” This year when I put them on, she exclaimed, “Mom! I remember those!”

9. We got Daddy an apron for Christmas that says “Cafe Daddy”
Daddy cooks very yummy dinners! One family beach vacation we decided that Daddy’s cooking “in” was better than eating any dinner “out” and we gave him the nickname “Cafe Daddy.” Christmas Day he cooks an herb-stuffed turkey with all the trimmings.

10. Mom makes the best cheese souffle for Christmas morning! Now give them the recipe …
The three of us can eat almost the entire pan in one sitting. If you are a family of four or more you will want to make a double batch!

Cheese Souffle Recipe
6 eggs
2 C. Milk
1/4 C. Melted butter
1 tsp. Onion salt
Salt & pepper to taste
2 C. Shredded sharp cheddar
8 slices Pepperidge Farm white bread
1 lb. Bacon (I use Hormel Black Label)

Grease 9×9 pan (I use a Pampered Chef square baker)
Cube bread and lay in bottom of pan
Sprinkle cheese over top the bread layer
Mix all remaining ingrediants and pour evenly over cheese
Top with bacon (I cook bacon half way first then cut up with scissors and put on top)

Preheat oven to 325 and bake for 45min till golden.

Julia Slike is an Independent Senior Director of Thirty-One Gifts and a member of the Gutsy Goddess Society – Rebel tier. She’s starting 2012 on a powerful foot by joining Jenny Fenig and other female leaders at the transformative VIP Coaching Intensive in New York City on January 27. Woo hoo!

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