I decided to make a gingerbread house this year, but I couldn’t find my old template that I thought was in my old file. Wow, I didn’t realize I had not made a gingerbread house for so long.
It is not a big deal, until I realized that I have never made a gingerbread house together with any of my kids. The Youngest One was shocked that I made a gingerbread house. “Do we even celebrate Christmas?”
Huh? To me, we have always celebrated Christmas. I always remember there is a Christmas tree in the house, we go to church, and we invite carolers to our house. Only that the last time we did that was almost a decade ago.
It didn’t occur to me, that in my busy-ness, I had forgotten to make the festive season festive. What we used to do with the older kids were not done in recent years as I struggle to keep alive raising five kids on my own in Australia.
It is sad that I have lost the opportunity to teach them a little about the season that means something to me, it is sad that the girls grew up not making even one gingerbread house with me. It is sad that some of my kids don’t even know Christmas is celebrated in our family.
There are very few things only we can personally pass on to our kids, one of them is the family tradition, the things unique to our family only. Unfortunately, we are often so entrenched in other more urgent matters, time slip through our fingers and sometimes, those opportunities are lost forever.
I think that it is as important to educate our kids our family history as it is to educate them about history of the world, the laws of nature and the mathematical theories.
Fortunately, even though my kids are really bananas (yellow on the outside and white on the inside) having grown up in white people’s country, they still know about ang paos.
Every Chinese New Year, we would ensure that we tell them a little story about our family and what the lunar new year means to us. This, hopefully, will stay in the family for generations.
No matter what your family tradition is, I hope you’d do your duty in passing on to the next generation, and then the next, and the next and the next… just like what our parents, our grandparents, and our great grandparents did to keep our traditions alive.
Let’s not drop the baton.
And if you want to make my simplified gingerbread house (there are a day or two till Christmas), here’s the recipe I created: