A Recipe for Rituals

‘Tis the season for them.


Most folks think that home-school families are always at home.  Truth is – We’re usually going in so many different directions that during this time of year I find myself trying to schedule-in our beloved

Christmas rituals.

via Design Sponge

Dear readers, this is the reason for my long stretches between posts lately.  Junior year of high school is - junior year of high school!  With the semester behind us we now take a month off and the multiple choice questions become…


1. Will you be home for dinner?

2. How are you getting there?

3. Do you have your wallet, your phone, a house key?


1. What are we having for dinner?

2. Would you be more comfortable with my sister or my best friend driving me?

3. Can I borrow $10 and if you don’t have that, can I borrow your debit card?

4. What are we having for dinner again?

These questions & reassuring messages are family rituals that are more like emotional security blankets that we wrap ourselves up in.

Photo Lisa Porter

We need that.

Photo Lisa Porter

Rituals that we do year after year become traditions.

We need traditions.

Photo Lisa Porter

  However, this year has been different.  This Christmas I’ve found myself searching  around the house for my “tiny tots with their eyes all aglow” – They’re nowhere to be found.  Good news is, they’re working & having fun with friends, and not wandering.

Photo Taylor Porter

I’m actually the one whose been wandering & really missing the traditional “guideposts” that in all the years past have made room for our rituals.

But here’s a bit of good news I found them!  The guideposts that is. 


The new improved multiple set of “guiding lights”complete with a strong connector!

When one light or (in this post) two eventually go out the others remain lighted!

Photo Lisa Porter

  Over the weekend MR. put the music on, started a roaring fire, poured cocktails, and ordered dinner in. Gracie & I decorated the tree & the Christmas lights were finally plugged in.  And guess what - When the kids strolled in late that night, their eyes were all aglow!

Photo Lisa Porter

Slowly but surely a sense of balance is beginning to emerge around here.  My heart is more open and grateful and the days we once called common, we now call holy.  I’ve finally stopped wandering long enough to begin to embrace & cherish some new rituals.


  We have come to greatly appreciate our rare family dinners where laughter is the guest of honor.  Contentment has also arrived and the house is aglow with the spirit of Christmas.

One ritual that we all show up for –

Christmas Morning Homemade Orange Glazed Cinnamon Rolls!

Good Morning from PorterRanch, photo Lisa Porter

My dear friend Tamara Matthews Stephenson who authors the noteworthy blog, Nest, has added my recipe to her Christmas morning post & to her family’s Christmas morning ritual.  I’m blushing Tamara!

I urge you to stop by Nest for all the goodness that Tamara serves up to her readers every morning!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays dear friends. 

I’m pre-heating my oven & looking forward to spending more time with you too!



A Gift Wrapped Life said...

A beautiful and heartfelt post Lisa! Sounds like it will be a wonderful month for your family. You are such a committed mother.........bravo to you. Lots of love andhave a most wonderful Christmas. XOXO

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Merry Christmas to you, Lisa!
Tradition is good, and it is necessary. I miss the tiny ones around at CHristmas, but enjoy that they have grown into young adults.
Have a nice week.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Once called common...now called holy. LOVE that. GET that.

A holy Christmas to you and yours!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I could feel what you wrote down to my bones dear Lisa. Those honoured traditions do eventually get altered and tweaked; but one thing I do know, that when the children leave the family home, every little detail and magic memory stays with them for a lifetime. They will look back only to reminisce with that twinkle in their eyes!

You are a very special woman, wife, mother (pet parent) and friend. From my heart to yours, I wish you all a Christmas filled with joy, laughter and tradition.

xx Deb

The enchanted home said...

Wow Lisa this is such a poignant post that really meant something to me personally becasue I could so relate. Even my "baby" 16 and who towers over me is so busy socializing and going out that I have missed his presence,energy and enthusiasm when we were decorating the tree, but sure enough he came in after a long night and he lit up just seeing it all done, so that little sparkle is still there as it is with all my boys but it IS hard to realize a new chapter is opening and another has closed. I long to hear those little feet, those giggles and those pudgy little hands grappling with the gifts for hints of what lies inside. I cherish more than ever those memories, and thankfully have cartloads of pictures and movies to savor and watch.
I am happy that the spirit of Christmas found its way into your home, as it has mine, albeit in a slightly different more grown up way...but its there none the less:)

Anne Marie said...

Dear Lisa,

That was beautifully written...

I do have tiny tots - and as the day progresses and my sleepy eyes are more wide open, I will make sure I treasure their eyes all aglow with the wonder of the season...there is such a wonderful poeace about this time of year isn't there?
Have a blessed Christmas with your family Lisa!!

Anne Marie

Angela Duke said...

Traditions are what bring comfort and familiarity. I don't know what life would be without them. Something to always look forward to!

Merry Christmas!


Renae Moore said...

Sweet Lisa,

You words in your very gifted way speak truth. The transition of our children growing definitely pulls on the heartstrings. Our 'eyes all aglow' do change with the years but are still there all the same.

You are one of the people I cherish and know this season will be filled with love.

Much love to you my friend.


Love Where You Live said...

Hi Lisa,

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday. Cheers! -s

p.s. Sam sends a heart-felt woof-woof to Gracie.

shiree segerstrom said...

What a sweet, sentimental post Lisa. And as usual, your blog is looking lovely. You have such a special touch. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Shiree'

La Petite Gallery said...

I think it's wonderful Tradition. More American families should have it. I see so many family's that have lost the Dinner hour. They all just share a house. No family..
Wishing you and family a wonderful holiday.


Nantucket Daffodil said...

Merry Christmas! Thanks for images and words that inspire me often!

Tamara Matthews-Stephenson said...

Lisa -- I enjoyed re-making those delicious rolls you sent over last year. As usual, a stop over to your blog is quite an inspiration and I'm happy to have you on the top of my blogroll. I hadn't realized your daughter was a junior in high school -- and so is Gabby -- gosh this year is such a rough road, huh?! I feel like her childhood has abruptly come to a stop with the emphasis on SAT and college talk...I miss the carefree days but keep telling myself that it's just a few more months really. I hope you are all faring well through this daunting process and enjoy the Holidays! xo tamara

quintessence said...

I understand your sentiments completely!! Although I already have several out the door, I still have my youngest at home (middle school). She just loves when everyone is home and partaking of the family festivities. Saw your delicious rolls over at Tamara's - my father used to make cinnamon buns every Christmas morning - I can still smell them!! Hoping you and yours had a very merry Christmas and sending clinks and cheers for a wonderful New Year's Eve!!

Sarah Berry Design said...

Happy New Year Lisa! Thank you for you sweet comment on my blog, I'm so glad to have found your blog too, it's really lovely. This post is so evocative of Christmas.

dustjacket said...

What a truly beautiful post Lisa!

I hope you had a wonderful New Year and I wish you much happiness for 2012.

Yes, I did a little spring clean on the blog, thanks so much for noticing and your lovely comment.
xxx DJ

Karena said...

Lisa, I love this post, we all need more traditions in our lives. So many seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Happy New Years to you and yours & All the Best in 2012!


Art by Karena