by PD Martin
In today’s Wildcard Tuesday I wanted to look at traditions. I’ve never been the sort of person who was/is ‘traditional’ or who was really into traditions much at all. Having said that, since I’ve become a mother I find myself feeling much more nostalgic (and warm and fuzzy) about traditions.
Two things that have come up recently…
First off, the photo with Father Christmas. It’s that time of year again, when there’s a Santa in every department store. Last week, my daughter raced home to tell me: “Guess what, mum. I saw Santa at Shopppingtown today.” Shoppingtown is one of our closest shopping centres (mall if the language needs translating!). It was also our local when I was growing up and I remember having many photos with Santa there.
It’s also where we got a photo with Father Christmas for our first Christmas as parents, when Grace had just turned one. So it seems fitting that we go again this year, our first Christmas with Liam.
The other nostalgic thing of recent…the Kew Traffic School. This Thursday is my daughter’s sixth birthday, and yesterday afternoon we had her birthday party (actually she’s having three celebrations (!) but this was the party with her friends). Anyway, back in January I booked out the Kew Traffic School on Grace’s request. Yes, she was planning her sixth birthday party soon after her fifth! And yes, you do need to book the Traffic School early for private functions.
Anyway, the Kew Traffic School has many memories for me, and for other Melbournians. You see, it’s been around for ages. It’s basically a mini street system complete with traffic lights, a railway crossing, a roundabout, a few stop signs, a school crossing, giveway signs, etc. I remember going there when I was about eight with school as part of bike and road safety education. I had a ball! You take your bike and helmet and off you go. They also open during school holidays, and you can rent the Traffic School for private parties.
Grace’s party there was a definite success – from all perspectives. From the kids’ perspective it’s a great party. You zoom around on your bike or scooter for two hours and get to eat party food. The parents were pretty happy too, and I had many of them grinning as they were leaving and saying: “They’ll sleep tonight.”
And from our perspective, it was a pretty easy birthday. There’s no real need to decorate the venue (we just did balloons at the entrance) and you bring all your own food in so you get to choose what you want to bring and don’t pay ridiculous prices for it. There’s also a BBQ there, so we had sausages going for the second hour, which were a great hit. Yes, the threat of rain was a problem (no contingency plan) and Melbourne is unpredictable even in December. However, yesterday was perfect weather. Warm and sunny, but not too warm.
Admittedly, I had it easy – Shane did the lolly bags, the cake (a chocolate ripple cake in the shape of a bicycle) and the sausage sizzle. Some of you may remember the fairy princess cake I did for Grace last year?? This year, Shane was keen.
Anyway, the party was a success and we’ve decided to hopefully hold a party at the Traffic School for Liam when he’s six or seven, too. Although with a May birthday I think it might be too risky!
So, what are your family traditions? Or things you do that have become a tradition?