Wicked Wednesday – Celebrating Four Leaf Cleaver and Irish Coffee Murder

Happy Wednesday! It’s the final “out with the old, in with the new” week, and we’re also celebrating the release of IRISH COFFEE MURDER by Barb and FOUR LEAF CLEAVER by Maddie (aka Edith). Each has a theme of St. Patrick’s Day.  Woo hoo, ladies!

St. Patrick’s Day is steeped in tradition in Ireland and the US, many of which have lasted for generations. Since we’ve been talking about ‘out with the old’ this month, which traditions have you done away with that were once part of your life (or family)? Which ones will you pass on?

Julie: Congratulations Edith/Maddie and Barb! One thing I’ve let go of re family traditions is the idea that they have to go a certain way. Dinner has to be at X time, or include Y food items. For me, I have to have ABC in order to be successful. Letting go of expectations.

Jessie: I no longer bake tons of treats at the holidays. I used to go all out and create breads, teacakes, and cookies as well as gingerbread houses. But with the children mostly living in their own places now I am not desirous of quite so many tempting leftovers! So now, I constrain my efforts to a few family favorites and call it good!

Sherry: Yay! More books to read! Congratulations, Edith and Barb! I haven’t continued my mom’s tradition of making lots of different kinds of Christmas cookies. But we have definitely kept our Christmas Eve tradition of having pizza for dinner. We’ve added going to look at Christmas lights and most years watching a Christmas movie.

Liz: Congrats, ladies! I’ve been trying to let go of having to have everything perfectly decorated, which I always liked to do even if it’s just me. I love decorations – especially for Halloween and Christmas – but I’ve purged a lot over the years and I’m trying not to stress myself out replacing everything.

Edith/Maddie: Thanks, dear Wickeds! I have always loved Halloween. I still do. I used to throw a big costume/dance party, even when my oldest was a baby. As my sons grew, I decorated the house and the front windows and each family member carved a pumpkin. I now no longer have the bin of Halloween decorations in the basement, and this year I didn’t even carve a jack-o-lantern. But I still love handing out candy at the door and admiring the costumes. When indoor dance parties in cold weather are COVID-safe again, I am determined to restart the costume party tradition.

Barb: Thanks, everybody! We have many holiday traditions in our family, especially clustered around Christmas. One that amuses me is our every other year Thanksgiving-Christmas schedule. The year my son was born and my brother married, my mother, who had quite a bit of the Field Marshall about her, announced that for Thanksgiving and Christmas she wanted all of us–or none of us. “I’m not putting on that whole show for half of you,” I believe she said. And thus our every other year tradition was born. In even years Bill and I were at my parents for Thanksgiving and with his family for Christmas and the next year we’d reverse. It’s been more than forty years. My parents are ten-years gone, and we are on to the fourth generation. Bill’s family was always large and now our two families sprawl in all directions. We still (with the exception of the Covid years) maintain the schedule. People who never knew my parents, who don’t celebrate with us (but rather who celebrate with our extended family members in our “off” years), even people who live in multiple other countries, know and abide by Kim Ross’s holiday schedule. Thinking about it always makes me smile.

Readers, what about you? Have you let go of any holiday traditions? Tell us in the comments!

31 Thoughts

  1. Yes, we no longer have holiday traditions. It’s sad, but with all of us scattered it is hard to get together.

    1. And the pandemic made it worse. My husband’s whole family was together over Christmas, but it took a lot of logistics on the part of some of the younger generation who have gone far afield.

  2. Congratulations to Edith and Barb on the release of two fabulous books!

    For us, it’s more of a turning loose mainly because now it’s just hubby and I. I’m not going to cook/bake the tons for types of food from the past when there’s only 2 eating it. Also like mentioned by others, we are regimented to do things on an exact day or time. Being retired gives us the luxury of doing things in our own timing. One thing we enjoy doing and I’ve tried to continue is my Mom’s Christmas tradition of fixing goodie boxes and delivering them to friends, the elderly, shut ins and those that have made our lives a bit better along the way.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Since we leave right after Christmas for Key West, I have really scaled back on Christmas decorations. During the pandemic I was down to one box of stuff. No one was coming anyway. This year both sets of granddaughters came during December, so I did have a reason to decorate. I pulled everything out and sorted out a ‘downsized Christmas.’ Gave my daughter the pick of the rest, put some aside for my son, and the rest went to Goodwill. Getting a handle on it made me happy, but the process made me sad.

  3. Ahh! Traditions! I am old enough that I now have fun at other peoples’! Of course, the grands still expect some cookies. My kids have carried on some of the traditions, and some of the conversations are wonderful!

    1. I’ve done cookies almost every year with the grands, despite the logistical challenges. (One year over Zoom.) They all remember and talk about it.

  4. We’ve never had a lot of traditions, but the ones we have are treasured, so they carry on. They tend to be simple, but meaningful to us. So, no, no traditions have been gone by the way. But, since there are only the three of us in the family, when we are gone, the traditions will be a thing of the past. But we won’t know the difference, so who cares? We love them now.

  5. It wasn’t so much me letting go as the tradition of the extended family gathering on Christmas Eve was done away with. It happened the year my mom passed away (though not because of her death). Between the day becoming too much for my aunt (after it had become too much for my grandmother, she had taken it on for years) and some family drama that was taking a toll, my aunt decided that we wouldn’t be doing it anymore after a 40 year run.

    As for other holidays, I now go to a family friend’s place for Thanksgiving (they made up a plate for me during Covid that I picked up). But that’s it for giving up or doing something different regarding traditions.

    Halloween remains the same for me (Candy, comics and special prizes to give out at the door. I had to have help this year due to the back issues but we still got it done).

    I don’t do anything for New Year’s Eve/Day except play a Savatage CD at midnight as the first music I hear at the start of each year. Valentine’s Day is not really a holiday since I’m single. HA! I wear a green Boston Celtics T-shirt on St. Patrick’s Day. July 4th I make sure I have a burger and fries for dinner.

    1. My sister-in-law gave up her 40 year run on Thanksgiving during covid and says she isn’t going back. I get it. It is exhausting. But I will also miss it. Going about making new traditions.

  6. We have shifted our “food” holidays to our newly married daughter’s house (her request, she has always wanted to host holidays) and it has been a bit different for me. As long as I can remember, I have been doing the hosting which I did love but I do enjoy relaxing a bit now. Now everyone from both sides of the family bring their dishes and deserts and it is so wonderful. St. Patrick’s Day always has me making Corned Beef and Cabbage, just like my Mom did on that holiday. I still go all out for Halloween, decorating the yard and house, making goodie bags for the kids, but there have been fewer children each year which makes me a bit sad. Right now I have my Valentine’s decorations up outside and come the 15th up will go St. Patrick’s Day!

    1. We had Christmas at my daughther’s house this year. It works much better as she’s centrally located for the extended family. It was a huge relief, but it also makes me a little sad. I think I have my kids and their families talked into having Thanksgiving at our house this year.

  7. The holidays are no longer “festivities for 12” around here. It’s usually just the four of us plus my brother-in-law. We’ve cut back on amounts, but still do the favorites. But we’re okay with “cheating” on a few things and not everything has to be homemade.

    1. You are in that trough where the kids are gone, but spouses and grands haven’t appeared. We were in that for a decade or more. We had kids later than our parents and our kids had kids later than us. But we’re through it now and out the other side and holidays are a big deal again.

  8. My mother (who was half Irish) always made a corned beef and cabbage dinner. My brother and I were enrolled in a Catholic school which always made a very big deal about St. Patrick’s Day by holding a school assembly with all of the grades giving a special presentation. None of that takes part in my life today, but I do enjoy watching Darby O’Gill and the Little People at this time of year. I am intrigued with my Irish heritage!

    1. I haven’t seen Darby O’Gill and the Little People since I was a kid. I loved it. I have never seen it available anywhere since. Is it on DVD?

  9. Congrats on the books ladies! Charlotte, my friend that I share books with, preordered your Maddie and I will buy yours Barbara! We no longer have to have turkey for Christmas. I used to make a turkey for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. But since it just Hubby Dearest and I, we buy an 11 lb. Butterball Fresh Young hen (never frozen) and make it on Thanksgiving and have lots of leftovers for later when we feel like turkey. I love turkey! So now we do a HoneyBaked Ham for Christmas. I also love ham. We just had Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. We also had Creamed Turkey on Toast. For about 6 years (until Covid) we used to go to NOLA for Thanksgiving to meet our friends from San Antonio as it was halfway for both of us. We would eat in a different restaurant each year depending on which had the best Turkey menu. That was a new tradition. Now we are back to being home for the holidays. I don’t decorate as much anymore either. Haven’t gotten rid of all my decorations but going up and down the basement stairs has gotten harder to do and carry things up and down.

    1. Leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. We’ve always been a roast beef for Christmas family. For years we did the ham and scalloped potatoes for New Year’s. My kids love it. But now we’re on the road on New Year’s Even and it’s takeout in our hotel room.

    2. Thanks – that’s delightful you share books with your friend. Our Christmas stuff is in the attic, which involves pulling down a ladder to get to. Lately I rely on my much-taller Hugh to grab the boxes and hand them down to me.

  10. I have let go of a lot of Christmas traditions for many reasons. When my Mom became more unstable on her feet, we stopped being invited to gatherings for Christmas Eve. Our church closed so we have not tried to find a new church. With my Mom declining, I did not send out Christmas cards or do much baking this year. (My Mom passed way on January 16.) Happy book birthdays. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

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