Friday, December 18, 2020

Tweaking a tradition


 Those who read here regularly may remember that a few years back we began a fun Christmas tradition with three of our local grandkids.  Briefly, it included going out for breakfast at a local McDonalds -- one that's a favorite because it includes a gas fireplace and a talking moose head.  Following that, we took them to a discount store to shop for gifts for their parents.  And finally, we took them to a fun candy shop that offers an ice cream buffet.   The number of participants has now risen to four, since their little sister turned 5 last year and so was included for the first time in 2019. 

This year it became obvious that we would have to tweak the tradition if it was to work.  Sadly, I got no photos of the event, so these from previous years will have to do.   But I'll tell you what we did.
Breakfast by the fireplace

All of our local McDonalds are currently only offering take-out and drive-through options.  So here's what we decided to do: Grampa and the kids picked up breakfast sandwiches to go.  Meanwhile I was preparing accompaniments here at home: hash brown casserole: 

(Even better, use my homemade soup substitute for cream of chicken.)

A coffeecake (made by Mr. T the night before):

grapes, and homemade hot cocoa.  It actually worked out very well.  It definitely saved money and was even more tasty.  But we did miss the fireplace and the talking moose!

Coffee by the fireplace -- that is Grammy's spot!
Sam at McDonalds some years ago  

Julia shopping (again, quite a few years back

We always liked topping off a sundae with an American flag!

For the ice cream portion of our outing, we were pretty sure the ice cream buffet was not going to be a go.  We didn't know how the shop was handling things, but it seemed simplest and less expensive to do this portion back at home, as well.  We had the kids choose ice cream flavors ahead of time.  Our local Market Basket had Hood ice cream on sale 2/$5.  I set out toppings like caramel sauce, whipped cream, strawberries, and hot fudge:

Wish I could remember what Ari said about the hot fudge sauce as I whipped it up in the microwave.  Something like, "This is the best chocolate smell EVER!"

The Christmas room is a wonderland!
And the player piano is always a huge hit.  Pretty sure that would have been cordoned off with crime scene tape this year.

Some felt Christmas trees in the Christmas room, in a previous year.

These lake-themed dishes are so pretty!

Josiah poses with an elf

Fireplace in the Christmas room

And so a tradition is tweaked.  Not sure if, or how, these changes will affect next year -- we sure hope the candy shop will again be a viable option -- but at least we have proven that traditions can adjust if needed.


  1. And a SWEET tradition it is!! Thank you so much for taking them! They all had fun, as always. :)

  2. What a wonderful tradition. So glad you tweaked it so the kids could still do something extra special with you both. I am sure they will always remember these special memories in years to come. You are blessed to have them near you so you can enjoy these special times together. Making happy memories is the best Christmas gift ever!

  3. It's a wonderful tradition! Perhaps you will think of the amendments as the best new traditions. Oddly enough, my daughter and I enjoyed a Mickey D's breakfast...the sandwich made with the maple pancake, just this morning. I might have preferred a bagel sandwich such as Dunkin Donuts offers, but it was fun to have a little outing.

    Your breakfast casserole sounds yummy. Alas, no need for breakfast foods for me on Christmas morning anymore. Prolly would be good for any meal. 🙂

  4. They’ll remember this year as special and I’m glad you chose to tweak it and not just cancel!!!

  5. How nice that you were able to keep the tradition in a new way. I know the kids will always remember it.

  6. What a special tradition to continue on with, despite the "detours", you came up with a great game plan! I love your hashbrown casserole recipe, along with the Coffee cake - yum! Special memories made for everyone! Have a blessed and very special Christmas!

  7. It's a great tradition. I imagine it has been really helpful for your daughter, too, giving her time for those last-minute Christmas tasks.


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