Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Traditions: Documenting Christmas Dinner

I am on family vacation for the holiday, but while I'm gone, you are in for a treat from some sweet friends. They're sharing their Christmas traditions with us! If you missed one, click here to catch up. Happy reading!
By Laura Tremaine

I’m so honored to be guest posting here for Julianna.  You can usually find me at Hollywood Housewife.
I’ve always known that my family’s sacred holiday tradition was strange.  It isn’t sweet or conventional like my other friends' families, who get to bake fresh cookies for Santa or who settle beside a crackling fire to read about Jesus’ birth.  
Sometime in the late 80’s my dad started videoing our holiday meals.  He set up a tripod at the end of the table, pressed “record,” and then our every bite and chew was documented.  My brother and sister and I thought it was bizarre and whined about it loudly.  My dad thought just thought it would be interesting to look back one day on what we were conversing about over our meals.  My mom was silent on the subject.
Over time we started to forget the camera was running, for better or worse.  My sister and her husband had a small tiff while setting the table one year.  I may or may not have said something disparaging about another family member in that person’s absence.  Throughout the 90’s there were ever-evolving dinner guests at our table, from dear friends to a wide range of significant others.  The little red light always blinked.
A few years ago, my not-so-technical dad handed me a big box of video tape and asked that I use my Hollywood resources to have them transferred to DVD.  There were dozens of tapes, hours and hours of my family...eating.  But as I watched a few to make some sense of their order, I felt a lump in my throat.  The faces of my family were smooth and unlined.  There was so much laughter, opinions expressed that are no longer held, a virtual time capsule of our family each year.  It was so much better than pictures.
Our family tradition is not traditional.  It is almost always awkward for visitors.  And it has taken me a very long time to realize what makes it special.  But it is ours.  As my little family grows, I hope to develop my own traditions with my husband and two kids.  But I can’t wait to smile secretly to myself the first year I set up the tripod in the corner of the dining room.     
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
About LauraI am an Oklahoma girl somewhat misplaced in the City of Angels. I spent six years working in reality television, but my true passion is writing. I live in Hollywood with my toddler daughter, infant son, & my producer/director husband, who is nothing like you'd expect. I hope I bring a little southern grace to this crazy city.

Where to find her:

^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

Reader Faves.