Saturday, December 8, 2012

You Don't Mess With Tradition

There is a line in the movie Mystic Pizza that goes, "You don't mess with tradition".

I learned that the hard way.

Since 2003, we have gone on a family vacation for Christmas so I don't go all out decorating like I did when the kids were growing up.

Our very first Christmas together, I crocheted stockings and made extras assuming we would have children.

As the children were born, I added their names to the stockings.

In the summer of 2005, I decided to knit all new stockings for everyone.

After nearly 35 years, the crocheted stockings were looking a little ragged and with JP getting married, I needed to add a stocking for our new family member.

thought it was a great idea.

That year for Christmas, we flew to Chicago for the wedding and spent Christmas Eve in a hotel.

Late that night, I filled the new stockings and set them out in living room of our hotel suite.

When KC awoke and went in search of her stocking, I heard a loud "what is this?" coming from the living room.

She was not impressed with the new stockings.

I had not realized how important the stocking tradition was to her.

We had gone away the past two years, so being away from home wasn't the problem.

She was bothered that there wasn't a single bit of Cook Family Christmas that year.

We were in a hotel, going to the home of strangers for Christmas Day and wouldn't open our presents in our usual early morning tradition.

And now she didn't even have her stocking.

The striped stockings became a new tradition and every year they hang on the mantel.

 But, wherever we are spending Christmas, the old crocheted stockings tag along.

They are already in my suitcase even though we don't leave for 9 days.

So wherever we are, at least we have something from home.

Because, you don't mess with tradition.


I am linked up at

Savvy Southern Style - Homestyle Christmas Vignettes

The Lettered Cottage - Christmas Mantel Decorating Party

My Romantic Home - Show and Tell Friday

Mockingbird Hill Cottage- A Favorite Thing


  1. Great story. I've been thinking about buying new stockings for everyone this year, and retiring the cross-stitched ones from when the kids were really little. Just using them as decorations. Maybe I should rethink this!

  2. I love this story. I always bought chocolate advent calendars for my son. When he turned 18, I thought that would be the end. Well-so much for that. He wanted the tradition, so we still do it. He's 21!

  3. What a sweet story! We always went out as a family to get a live Christmas tree. It was always the coldest and usually rainiest day of the year. This year we all decided an artificial tree would be nice :) So for the first time ever, we skipped a tradition!

  4. I so love this story! Some traditions have to remain. That's clear! I love both sets of stockings.

    Thanks so much for joining in this week!


  5. What a sweet story. My kids always liked their stockings. Now that I have grands I haven't been doing them. They have their own traditions.

  6. That is oh so sweet! I would love to spend christmas in a cottage by the sea . . . you wouldn't be interested in spending Christmas in a burb outside Detroit would you?

  7. A wonderful story the old and traditional are sometimes the best!
    Sarah x

  8. love this little story... i'm a huge fan of tradition... the knitted stockings are adorable...& the stripes are so cute but i can see why the original ones still need to have their place.... it's great that you pack them and take them with you... as someone who is married with children of my own now, it's still important for me to hang on to some of my childhood traditions, too... enjoy your vacation and merry christmas : )

  9. You got that right! I got the same *word* from my kids about tradition and specifically stockings. And you don't mess with their Christmas Eve food either I've learned unless it's adding a new item, but don't skip an oldie!


  10. Love this story! I know I tried to change some things when my kids were older and found they loved the traditions also!