Yesterday we got to spend Thanksgiving with some sweet friends of ours – Paige and Greg, Paige’s parents and grandmother, and a couple other aviators. It was low-key and relaxing, and we all just hung out and chatted and ate good food. It’s really comforting to have good friends nearby when we’re so far from family.
Today we cleaned the house (mostly), gathered things to donate to Goodwill, and set up our little fake Christmas tree and a few other holiday decorations. When we were finished decorating, I made some hot cocoa (milk, cocoa, sugar, and a bit of instant coffee heated in a double boiler) and we sipped it together until Anneliese got sleepy. Then the guy changed her diaper, bundled her up, and I nursed her to sleep.
(I got a bit of reflection of the lights, I think from the filter I keep on the lens to protect it. Oh well… looks like sparkly magic to me!)
I’ve been thinking about holiday traditions a bit. For the first couple years we were married (and the year before we were married), the Guy and I made a huge batch of gingerbread cookies and mailed them to our families and friends. Now that we’re grain-free I don’t anticipate continuing that. And that’s okay.
I’m not sure what will end up being in our holiday tradition repertoire. I asked T what he thought, and he said, “Well traditions aren’t something you just decide on. They evolve over time.” And how right he is!
What traditions have evolved for your family? Are they things you did when you were little and continued once you had your own children? Are they a mixture of your family’s and your SO’s family’s traditions? Or are they brand new?
- Watching The Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Christmas Story after Thanksgiving dinner.
- Going to find the perfect tree at Toogoodoo Farm (With Toogie the talking Christmas tree, and hot cocoa).
- My sisters and I each having our own small (fake) tree for our bedrooms, and taking turns choosing ornaments for our own trees. (And hanging the beautiful glass icicle decorations on the big real tree.)
- Making Zeppole (Italian doughnuts) Christmas morning.
- Forgetting about our stockings while we ate breakfast, then getting surprised and excited when we remembered we still hadn’t unwrapped them.
- Matching nightgowns my mom would make us each Christmas.
- Special dinners for Hanukkah, and getting to have a little bit of wine.
- Playing dreidel in our pajamas.
- A fire in the fireplace.
- Bundling up in our pajamas and driving around to see Christmas lights while listening to whatever radio station was playing holiday music.
I asked my husband for a few memories, and this is what he told me:
- Seafood spaghetti on Christmas Eve.
- Opening stockings over breakfast, then opening presents.
- Venison roast for Christmas dinner.
- Singing the Who song (da-who-dores) while cutting down a Christmas tree.
- Mom putting lights on the tree, then decorating it with his siblings. Then Mom would drape beads on the tree (so the kids wouldn’t break grandma’s glass beads) and Dad put the star on the top.