Living in this scorching desert can really put a strain on one's Christmas Spirit. Singing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" in 80 degree weather just feels wrong. That is why traditions are so important. If all else fails, your traditions will bring you into the spirit, regardless if your pool is still warm enough to swim in. (We have passed that point finally).
My first tradition began when I started living on my own. The day after Thanksgiving can be a lonely one, why not take that opportunity to break out your favorite Christmas jammies, eat leftover Cinnamon Jello, turn up good ol' Bing Crosby and start decorating? And that is exactly what I do. About every 2 years my dad is here to help me hang the garland while my sister and Lisa go Black Friday shopping. Where is Pat during all this hubbub you ask? He works the day after Thanksgiving EVERY year with his job.
My tree is a fake tree that my mom used to use when us kids were still home. She inherited it from her husband's mother. It is the most REAL looking fake tree you will ever see. I believe it is from the 60's when fake trees were first being manufactured. There was no skimping on quality back then. So, the Saturday after Thanksgiving the tree goes up. This takes a good 6 hours or so because every branch is put in one by one by one. Then the lights go up. Then my Snowbaby collection. My mom bought be a Snowbaby every year for Christmas for a long as I can remember. I have most of them safely preserved in their original boxes until they are ready for the tree. After the Snowbabies, it is a free-for-all.
After the tree is lit, and I have warmed up my voice officially with Christmas tunes, Pat and I get to decorating the house with white lights. This is the Christmas purest in me. There is just something so nostalgic about white Christmas lights, green wreaths and red bows. It is classic Christmas. Saturday evening Pat gets out the ladder and the lights, I test them and hand them to him as he perfectly places them on the nails that we placed there our first Christmas in this house. Our neighbors walk by and listen to our Christmas music streaming from the garage and Lou lou, our pup, greets them with her increasing Christmas spirit. Nothing makes me happier than seeing our tree lit up in our window and our lights on the house. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas indeed. Every year our neighbors add a new element of lights to their house, so we follow suite... it's a growing
The next tradition comes from Pat's side of the family. Making sugar cookies. I was so excited when I became part of his family and I found out they had a Christmas tradition of their own. It was a Christmas miracle to me! Everyone meets at his grandmother's house and things are already in full swing. His grandma rolls out the dough perfectly, cuts out Christmas shapes - and whatever new shape her daughters have brought along with them from their recent trip to the antique shop. The cookies go in the oven, and Pat's mom pulls them out, no timer needed. She passes the scalding cookies onto us where we frost them and sprinkle them. Now, the rule is, you cannot eat these cookies until they are ALL done and divvied up to all the cookie helpers, unless it is broken. (Pat always seems to find the broken ones and pulls me into his dishonest games. I am not one to break rules, not around Christmas time. Do you think I want to end up on the naughty list? Not this girl).
Finally, my current last tradition occurs on Christmas Eve, and not until then. That is when I sit down with a sugar cookie, Christmas Jammies, a glass of Champagne and I watch "The Muppet Christmas Carol." I always hope to have company when I do this, but people either roll their eyes and have "something else to do," or fall asleep whilst watching. I am not sure how they are able to sleep because I am singing along at the top of my lungs, but they do *cough dad* *cough Pat*.
I am so looking forward to sharing these traditions with our little guy next Christmas and I am really excited about creating new ones too! I don't imagine he will be as big of a Christmas buff as I am, but I can't wait to see how excited he gets about Christmas lights, and singing in the car, and I am ESPECIALLY excited to have a buddy to watch The MCC with me. I want to go on the Grand Canyon Polar Express Train ride as soon as the babe is old enough.
Do you have any Christmas Traditions?