Editor's note: This column appeared in the OBSERVER in November 2005.
Sometimes families create unusual names for items that seem strange to others when heard in public. For example, a baby's pacifier may be called a binky or a paci or about 100 other creative options only understood by family members.
Three years ago when my son was 2 years old, he saw a large, inflated ghost on someone's lawn at Halloween and called it a "boo." Even when Christmas rolled around, he called every inflated Santa or snowman a boo. This naming procedure caught on, and it didn't take long for the whole family to be spotting boos all over town.
Before going on, reread the last sentence. Yes, we were spotting boos all over town.
Over the past three years this little naming tradition has taken on new meaning since my daughter, now 3, has learned to speak. Here are some of Brooke's exclamations we've heard since October:
"Can we get some boos?"
"Where's the boos?"
"I like that boos the best."
"Oh, look at that boos!"
"I love boos, Mommy."
Although I could easily clarify the definition of those air-filled creatures around the town, I can't bring myself to do it because of an article I read at least 15 years ago about families.
I'm not able to cite the date or source of the article, but I remember it spoke about the importance of traditions within a family and how family traditions are one of the key factors for keeping families close and strong.
Traditions don't need to be planned in advance; rather, you need to look for things you already do and be sure to keep doing them. For example, a few years back I started making chicken soup on the day we brought home our Christmas tree. My original intent in making the soup was to warm up after nearly freezing to death while searching for the perfect tree.
Now, we can practically taste the soup before pulling into the driveway.
Do you bake Christmas cookies while wearing a Santa hat?
Is there a certain order you follow when opening presents? Do you sing carols around the fireplace? Regardless of your traditions, embrace them, invest in them, treasure them.
From my family to yours, may all your boos be bright during this holiday season.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org