‘Tis the season for Christmas traditions! After 18 years of marriage, PWM and I have lots of traditions – some we brought from our families of origin, while others we’ve developed on our own. In the last few years, my headaches have required us to cut back on our commitments, so we have cut out things that don’t enhance our enjoyment or understanding of the holiday. Here are some of our favorite traditions:
1. Decorating – We put up our Christmas decorations on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Decorating is a family affair with all four of us participating and the cats getting underfoot. We don’t do much outdoor decorating, but the kids did put up some lights right around our front door and we put icicle lights in the inside of the front room bay window that can be seen from outside. It’s very festive!
2. Christmas program – PWM has been involved in the church Christmas Eve program almost every year since we moved up here. In the last few years, it has become a little bit of a tradition that PWM spends most of Christmas Eve at church getting ready for the program while Wild Man goes along with him to “help”. (I have been assured that he was rather helpful and has never been underfoot – I hope that’s true.) This year, Rosie Girl is playing keyboards in the Christmas Eve program and is thrilled because they are doing “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” (recorded by Trans-Siberian Orchestra).
3. Christmas recitals – Having kids who like to perform means that we get to go to lots and lots of performances and recitals, particularly during Christmas and the end of the school year. And we wouldn’t trade them for anything! I am glad, though, that there are fewer performances this year. Rosie Girl had her regular piano recital and a piano/ocarina performance at the Women’s Tea at the Assembly’s church. Wild Man played with the rest of the middle school band in the school program. Rosie Girl chose not to be involved with the high school choir this year, giving us a little more breathing room this year.
4. Books – Reading aloud is a year-round tradition for us. We start reading Christmas books as soon after Thanksgiving as we are able. I wrote last week about some of our favorites.
5. Christmas movies – Some of our favorite movies involve music - “Holiday Inn” and “White Christmas”. We also usually watch “The Santa Clause” (but not usually the sequels), “Miracle on 34th Street”, and “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
6. Food – I usually try to make some kind of baked goods to give away to friends. Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies are one kind of cookie that we only make during the holidays, so we make sure to really enjoy them! We like to have a special meal together on the day after Christmas, but don’t have a particular menu. This year, I’ll probably make a roast. We all enjoyed the dressing that I made at Thanksgiving, so I’ll probably do that again.
7. The Christmas Chain – When the kids were younger, we made a paper chain every year to put across the top of the stairs to remind the kids not to go downstairs without the parents. It’s a little more complicated now that our only bathroom is downstairs – we have to make sure that it’s easy to remove and replace the chain so that we can deal with bodily issues as needed! This year, Rosie Girl is making things a little more interesting by making a permanent chain. Each link is made in a different way using a different material. She has links made of duct tape, pipe cleaners, copper wire, and lots more.
I hope to post some pictures of our fun Christmas traditions in the next few days. In the meantime, Merry Christmas (and Happy Holidays to my non-Christian readers)!!