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Family holiday celebrations on Think Out Loud

Holiday_dinner_table
It's not Norman Rockwell any more, says the blog post introducing today's local radio hour, Think Out Loud. "In 2008 half as many people got divorced as got married in Oregon — leaving many children switching from mom's house to dad's at some point during their celebration. It means some families welcome their ex's new partner to dinner. It means family, and family scheduling, gets more complicated," it goes on.

Today's show is particularly appropriate for many of us, and dovetails nicely with some of our recent discussions. Topics of conversation included balancing Judaism and Christianity; relationships between adoptive parents and a birth family; Christmas for separated parents and divorced parents; and forging new traditions in non-traditional families. Comments from regular urbanMama contributor nopomama were included in the discussion, and single mama Jennie 7 joined the conversation with some thoughts on negotiating the holidays after her recent divorce.

"When does something you do, become a tradition?" asked the host, and this is sort of obvious (when you do it more than once, probably) but it's a nice way to open the conversation about our own traditions, new and old. What conventional and unconventional customs are your family, Rockwellian or no, doing this year? What would you like to do?

[Think Out Loud's "Family Time" show repeats tonight at 9 p.m. on OPB, 91.5 FM]

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This is an interesting question in light of the fact that up until now I have only spent one other Christmas away from my parents' house (the only other year was when I was pregnant with our now 4 year old and my mom had the flu). This year I am 37 weeks pregnant and decided not to head away from Portland in the final stretch as I am enjoying the idea of my midwife supporting my L&D not some random ER doc. That being said, we are trying to continue some of the traditions that I grew up with such as going to church in the evening and then coming home, getting pj's on, having a small dessert, opening one small present and then going to bed (well, our son will anyway, we have to wait up for Santa). One tradition I especially enjoy, which we will not be doing here, that has been going on for over 25 years in my parents' neighborhood is lining the sidewalks with luminarias on Christmas eve, complete with a permit from the fire deparment. It is such a nice departure from Christmas lights and really sets a different tone when you walk through the neighborhood (in its height we had easily a 5 x 7 block participation so pretty impressive visually). I have to say it is nice to be home and to think about what traditions we will have that our children will want to carry on when they are grown up.

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