It’s that time of year again. Ignore the fact that stores have been decorated since I was wearing tank tops and shorts. It’s the holiday season. Time for turkey, family, pie, presents, mashed potatoes, good cheer, bread, singing… You did hear that it’s a time for eating, right?
I love the holidays. And since you’re a captive audience, I’m going to tell you all about mine. My personal holiday season starts with Halloween, but then, I’m a little strange. I love being able to decorate the yard with skeletons and disembodied heads and the occasional zombie, only to turn around, put that away and put out angels and snowflakes and nativities. And there’s a turkey or two in between.
My family has a lot of traditions when it comes to the holidays. We eat. And eat. And EAT. Thankfully, since we now have Thanksgiving at my house, and I live in the middle of nowhere, we have given up on the Black Friday shopping. I despise shopping to begin with, and I hate getting up early. I’m not really sure why I ever went, other than Mom always wanted to go.
But now we eat in the relative peace of my house. You do have to stay out of the backyard unless you’re wearing hunter’s orange. The chances of getting grazed by a misguided hunter are slim, but I prefer not to take chances.
We watch movies, try not to let their cat and mine do too much damage to each other, and then they go home on Saturday, a little rounder than before.
Christmas starts as soon as Grandma gets into my car at the airport. That’s usually about two weeks after Thanksgiving. If I’m lucky, I have managed to keep the house relatively clean, so I don’t have to kill myself the night before she shows up. (Cause I’m the Queen of Procrastination) She spends a few days at my house, and then we head to my parent’s. I usually get there and stay for a couple weeks. One of the bonuses of being a teacher. My brother rolls in just before the holidays. Usually with all his shopping done. If not, he and I do a mad dash through the crowds and he picks up what he needs. I tag along and find something I don’t need, but buy to stick in a package “from the cats” or “From the underwear elf” to someone usually.
Now, as many of you who are “grown ups” and still visit your parents know, no matter how old you are, at Christmas time you aren’t ever old enough.
Every year, I try to convince my mother that the Christmas tree and subsequent packages need protection. We have two cats. One is evil incarnate. My cat is cute and adorable, but easily corrupted. They like ornaments. And bows, and shiny things. Sacrificing myself to a night spent in front of the big screen, with the tree, on the comfy couch seems like the noble thing to do.
She never goes for it.
Because, no matter how old we are, my parents refuse to let us downstairs until my mother rings the Christmas Bell. No lie. And then when we get downstairs, you have to do the last family advent service, which usually ends up in the family singing Joy to the World, while my brother plays with matches and lights the Christ candle and pretends to sing while I elbow him. I suppose saying we’re grown ups might be a stretch on occasion.
There are lots of other traditions. Many with food. My brother and I hunt for a glass pickle on the Christmas tree still. I’ve lost two years running. My pride is wounded. I may have to resort to trickery this year.
We burn bayberry candles for good luck on Christmas Eve. My brother gets his own this year since he moved out. He’s way less excited than I was. Must be a boy thing.
One other tradition, which isn’t so much a family thing as one I do myself, is that I make ornaments and give them to friends. This is where you come in. One lucky person will win an ornament. It isn’t fancy or huge, but I made it, and I hope you will take it and have a very Merry Christmas and New Year.
Thanks for listening to me ramble. And I hope you all have a happy, healthy (Well, eat a lot, holiday calories don’t count), and safe holiday season, and a fantastic New Year!
Twitter - ellenkeener