Holiday Traditions

Everyone has their own holiday traditions.  As a kid, I tried to stay up all night on Christmas Eve, to see if I could catch Santa filling up my stocking.  That elusive elf never came until after I’d finally dozed off, so I still have no idea how he makes it down tiny chimneys, or enters houses where there is none.

After my parents divorced, things changed a little, but there were still holiday traditions.  Christmas Eve was spent at my paternal grandmother’s (Nana’s) house, then coming home & opening one present that same night.  On Christmas morning, my father would come to our house, so that both parents could be present when my brother and I opened our gifts.  We would then all go to my maternal grandparents’ house for an early dinner.  These were fun times for me, because I got to see my cousins (whom I rarely saw the rest of the year), and got to make snow angels or have a snowball fight, while the grown ups did all the “work” of getting the meals together.  One year, I even got to play Santa Claus to my younger cousins at my Nana’s house.  I was a teenager, and had worn a dress that night, so Santa was wearing black patent leather heels, but the kids didn’t notice.

My mom and I would wake up early the day after Christmas, and shop the sales at places like Meijer or Target.  We’d stock up on half-price wrapping, decorations, and whatever else we thought we needed.  We still have that tradition today, but the only thing I pick up anymore are next year’s cards, because I’ve got enough wrapping paper and labels to last me for years.  After we’ve done our shopping, mom and I go out for a nice breakfast.  It’s a great bonding time for us, and a tradition I hope we continue until life tells us to stop.

When I moved out of my mom’s house, I began my own traditions.  While most people are out on Black Friday taking advantage of the numerous sales, I go to Home Depot to pick out my Christmas Tree.  I let the tree “fall” that day, and spend the next one decorating it.  I’ve collected hearts as long as I can remember, so every year my tree displays the many heart ornaments I’ve gotten over the years.  There are a few non-heart pieces, and even more now that my boyfriend and his daughter have become my family, but you can still see my mark on the branches.

I also bake several types of cookies to send out to family and friends.  This accomplishes two things: I get to bake cookies – which I love to do – but I also get them out of my house, so I don’t end up eating all of them.  Everyone seems to enjoy them, and eagerly anticipates whatever that year’s choices will be.

Traditions are what we do to give us a sense of sameness in our ever-changing world.  They bring back memories of our childhood – hopefully mostly happy ones – and while I’m all for bucking conventions and breaking out of ruts, I too take comfort in the traditions I’ve acquired throughout my life.  Especially during the holidays.  There’s nothing quite like opening Christmas gifts in your flannel jammies, or driving around “oooh-ing” and “aaah-ing” over all the beautiful displays of colorful lights.

Maybe you celebrate Chanukkah or Kwanzaa; which unfortunately seem to take a back seat to Christmas, as far as marketing goes.  Each of those has its own set of wonderful traditions as well, and while I don’t know all of them, I’m certain they involve celebrating with family and friends.  I’m a big believer that Christmas is all about loving your fellow man, and enjoying them as one big happy family.  I’d like to think that sentiment transcends whatever name, or decoration, or deity we assign to it.

With that thought, I truly wish you and yours the most wonderful of holidays!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maddy
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 11:15:07

    Happy holidays to you too – we have Christmas carols blaring out all over the house whilst we make sausage rolls and mincepies – yes, I know they’re an acquired taste. : )

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Dec 24, 2010 @ 11:23:51

      LOL I could probably get on board with the sausage rolls (though I’ve no idea what they are . . . they might be “worse” than the mincemeat pies. 😉

      Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time, Maddy! Thanks for taking time out of your day to stop by.

      Reply

  2. Mom
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 11:34:28

    Your blog brought a tear to my eyes, and a warm fuzzy smile in my heart.
    LOVES ;} Mom

    Reply

  3. Dana
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 19:25:48

    Dave and I are still making our own Christmas traditions (including figuring out how to celebrate his birthday properly as it falls on the 26th of December – he missed being holy by one day!)… but baking Russian Tea cookies is definitely a part of it!

    Reply

  4. Alyx Morgan
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 19:52:29

    Yum! I love Russian tea cookies!

    Figuring out new traditions is part of the fun, I say. You get to try a few things on & see how/if they work. And, knowing you two, they’ll be full of fun & love, which is the best of both worlds.

    Merry Christmas, you to!

    Reply

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