The Not So Nuclear Family’s Christmas Tradition

A new family tradition was born this past weekend in a very simple situational formula. Because if you take a nuclear family, split the Adam (and Eve), blend, divide, and add a little sugar and sprinkles. You would have our “new” family tradition.

Baking cookies with the ex-wife, all the girls, cousins, and some of the in-laws (or ex-in-laws depending on who you are) including mom-in-law fresh out of the hospital.

It started with a suggestion by Jason’s ex-wife; aka, the girls mom, to begin (try) a new family tradition at Christmas. A baking tradition. I was open to it.


Well, the cookies of course the kids of course.

Actually, the cousins are very close and it would be nice to gather and bake (or man the oven if you don’t bake-just sayin’) while everyone has fun doing their thing (like the oven) (or taking pictures). Hey, I am not a baker. I am a burner. I am shocked I was in charge of the oven. More shocked that I could work the ovens. Ahem. Only one parchment paper got singed in the making of these cookies. Heh.

The cookies – all three? four? five? dozen(s) – turned out YUM-a-licious. Thanks to the baking and rolling and stirring skills of others. My reward for loaning my kitchen and hosting the Olympic cookie baking event. COOKIES. Yeah!!

I missed a lot of stuff growing up when my mom and dad divorced; like baking cookies with cousins on my dad’s side. I, also, gained a lot by celebrating holidays with my sister and brother’s grandma and dad, who were not blood related to me, but accepted the new extended family (me and my brother from my mom’s second marriage) with open arms.

Maybe, I have taken the best and worst of divorce from my life as a child to help formulate this new branch of togetherness. I like “new” traditions. I like being open to change. To advance and grow as families just as the world changes, advances, and grows.

Blended. Mixed. Extended. Kindred. We are all in this together…..for life! I don’t think it ends at eighteen. These children graduate from college, marry, and have children of their own. It goes on and on. Might as well make the best of it. We can make the best of it.

Salem, Brownie, and Anna dressed and ready to par-tay.

Once every guest was greeted with raised paws and a nose in the proper place. The furry welcoming committee was sent out of the kitchen. Well, except for one fur friend who found a pretty sweet spot in Grandma’s wheelchair and did not MOVE for hours.

Meet Brownie, the cuddle buddy, renamed BrownieSue.

Syd and Aunt Tricia making magic happen.
The makings of a great tradition
A little black & white editing fun.
The New Nuclear Family of Today.
I never said NORMAL. Look closely there are issues. HA.

After the chaos of atom bomb sprinkle explosions and gel icing shots. The hazemat team cleared the kitchen. The dogs undressed (some of them). All was quiet. We had the remains of DOZENS of cookies, a grandma and her grand dog still on her lap. A four-year old with her extended/blended/kindred family pet.

Sue and BrownieSue

Cookie bake until you drop, then crawl.

All parties have deemed this day tradition worthy and we can’t wait for next year.

Well…maybe Salem can wait. She looks pretty patient.

What you do think? Should we redefine family relationships? Or let it alone?

19 thoughts on “The Not So Nuclear Family’s Christmas Tradition

  1. Lori Fincher

    Hey, girl. I had some time and so glad I did. I really enjoyed reading about your cookie party. :O) I am so glad to see you guys happy and having so much fun. Your heart is gold Ange and always filled with “possitiveness” and love. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday. Hugs to you. :O))

    Much love,


  2. Maddy

    I think it’s great that you were all able to get together and share this new experience, that will hopefully become a tradition. Sometimes with divorce, everyone goes their separate ways and all the bonds that were formed between family are suddenly broken. But who says that you need to part ways with the people you’ve grown to love so much over the years? As you’ve demonstrated, family (no matter what package it comes in) is what matters in the end 🙂


  3. What fun! Angelia, your new tradition (is that an oxymoron?) is a blast. We should have cookie baking day all over America. Bring all estranged relatives and families together-spread the love and sugar all around.


  4. runrettarun

    That’s so great that you make the effort to get along w/ the ex. 🙂 The kids are really enjoying themselves and that’s what matters.


  5. I think you should keep the tradition! There’s nothing more fun than baking Christmas cookies with the family and the kids will collect so many happy memories. I can’t remember one year when we didn’t have a family baking session and it’s one of the greates memories of Christmas I have…
    And the cookies look delicious!


  6. I love how open you are. It’s the only way to be. Life isn’t clean, so we all have to embrace that. I love this tradition. It makes me think about starting some of our own new traditions for the holidays and beyond.


  7. What an amazing post! I am definitely hooked into this blog. Redefine, redefine, redefine family relationships, I say! I give you such big kudos for combining both of the girls’ families together for what seems to be a kick-ass start to the holidays. And the dogs?!? They had me at Santa hat. Did you make your own photo collages? They look awesome! I can’t wait to get my new camera for X-Mas.


  8. Sweetie, if anyone can make that work, it is you! Years ago, when my eldest son got married, I managed to bond with my ex’s wife. When my ex died last year, the bond grew even stronger. There comes a time when we have to put our differences aside and think about just what is best for our children. That is something at which you shine!


  9. I wasn’t going to comment on this because you had posted something about baking with the girls’ mom already and you know how I just admire that you adults are doing such a great thing for the girls . . . . but . . . I am compelled to comment because in one of the pictures of Sydney you capture her perfect along with her reflection in the microwave (?). That is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  10. Pingback: Cookie Palooza 2011 | Living, Loving, Laughing…..

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