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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's your Christmas tradition, baby?

Published by cck at 10:21 AM

The hubby and I are spending our third Christmas together. And last night, we were giggling in front of our tree and the fire and talking about memories of Christmas past.

Our family traditions are different. In his, the kids wake up and tear into their stockings while the parents suck down coffee and wake up slowly. It's festive and lovely and there is lots of laughter. We eat eggs benedict with Christmas Eve's leftover ham. And then the family gathers in front of the tree to open presents. Honestly, it's a bit more sedate than my memories, but then again - we all are over the age of 25 and I wonder if that has a little bit to do with it. I have never enjoyed Christmas as much as I do now. I'm guessing, again, that it has something to do with my age.

In my small bag of tricks I bring from my family, the kids wake up the parents, but the kids have to wait upstairs - with clean teeth and brushed hair and made beds, while the parents have their coffee. We wait for the sound of Christmas bells and my father to utter, "Ho Ho Ho!" to know that Santa has finally left the area and we race down the stairs to recover our stockings. I've also never met a family that treated the nativity like we did. Baby Jesus never arrived in his manger until Christmas morning. It was placed under the tree while we slept, so my brother and I always checked to make sure he was there. You know, finally.

Luckily for me, my first Christmas away from my family included the bells and the cookies and trappings that were important to me. My mother-in-law called me and asked what made Christmas for me and she included my traditions into her festivities.

When K. brought up the fact that Christmas will be much more fun once we have little ones - besides gagging - I thought of the beauty of combining our respective traditions and making new ones for just our family. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to celebrate. Am I the only one who not only leaves cookies for Santa but also a small slice of cheese for Santa Mouse?

I love Christmas. We're leaving today for the warmer south and will be down there a week. I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true - and that you are surrounded by the warmth and love of those you hold dear. Happy Christmas!