Eulogia (eu-lo’-gi-a): Pronouncing a blessing for the goodness in a person.

We have a Christmas tradition. We watch “A Christmas Carol.” Every time Tiny Tim says “God bless everyone,” we yell “Shut up!” If you miss a “Shut up!” You have carry a bed pillow, symbolic of Tiny Tim, on your shoulder around the living room 3 times—one for each spirit that visits Scrooge.

We have many family traditions. When it snows for the first time in Winter, we shoot dice to see who will shovel the sidewalk and driveway. That person, in turn, gets to choose the next person who will shovel. In spring when we open the pool, we have a person designated as water tester to see if the water’s warm enough to swim in. Everybody has to guess a number between 1 and 1 million. The “holder of the number” is designated by succession. The person who comes closest to the number has to do a cannonball into the pool. We keep an ambulance standing by. 5 years ago Grandpa had a heart attack doing the water test.

We don’t feed the dog unless it picks up it’s bowl and walks around the house whining. We’ve had lots of dogs over the years. We arm wrestle over what TV show we are going to watch. We draw straws to see who’s going to wrestle. It’s funny to see Dad and my three-year old brother wrestle. When we go to the grocery store Mom usually puts a ham or a turkey from the grocery store under her sweater so she looks pregnant. We circle around her, and create a distraction so she can slip out the front door & we can go through checkout like nothing happened. Our distraction is my brother Ed. He can imitate a PA system and he says “Refrigeration unit broken on aisle 3.”

I think our best tradition is wearing formal clothing to breakfast. Poached eggs, orange juice, home fries, sausage, and a raspberry jelly donut all in a tuxedo. Mom wears her wedding dress and Dad wears his dress blues from his army days. Little Joey wears a white sports coat and a pink carnation. Ed wears a tuxedo like mine. Suzy wears her first communion dress, but she’s starting to outgrow it. Salvation Army thrift store, here we come! It is all great fun—once a month on Sundays.

I keep trying to start a new tradition! I want us to stop bathing for 2 weeks every 2 months. I think it will remind us of how our ancestors lived. I think it is important get in touch with our ancestors as much as possible. In that vein, I’m also thinking about hunting the neighborhood squirrels with BB guns and cooking them up for lunch or dinner, like our ancestors.

Wish me luck!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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