These Are A Few…

I honestly don’t know how it’s December already! I just started wearing pants instead of capris. And I’m so not ready for the holidays. But I’m sure with all the Christmas music in the stores and on the radio, with kids who still get excited, lol, I’ll be in the spirit in no time. At least, that’s what I’m going with. Work with me people.

Anyway, it’s time for another Favourite Things post. And you guessed it…it’s all about traditions. Now, when I was young, I suppose we had some traditions, though they were mostly putting up a fake, yes, fake, never, ever real, tree and having a party on Christmas Eve. Not sure how that started but my parents always had one—a huge one—and if I were honest, it was one of my favourite days. Getting so see folks you normally didn’t. And hey, they only invited the fun crowd. And you all know what I mean. We all have those relatives who aren’t quite as…um, interesting as the rest. So it was always a good time. Especially as I got older and got to invite my friends, as well.

Well, after moving out west, that wasn’t really an option. I just don’t have the kind of friends my parents had, lol. Or work buddies. My work family is all online, so…hard to have a get-together with them. But I have got a few traditions of my own. Mostly because I have kids and well, I guess I wanted them to love this time of year as much as I did.

1 – TREE  it’s REAL people. We go to a tree farm every year and pick out our own, special tree. Now, we follow the safe cutting practices and ensure the actual tree doesn’t die. We just ‘top’ it. But it’s something that I’ve been doing with my kids for a long time. There’s just something special about the smell of a fir or pine tree in the house. White pine if my favourite, though you can’t hang heavy ornaments on it. The branches tend to be too weak, lol. Then we put on the lights and whatever decorations the kids want.

In my YOUNGER days, I’ll admit. I was pretty damn particular about how the tree was decorated. Can you say obsessive? Hello. Looking back, I realize my family must have loved me to put up with my need for everything to be so damn perfect. These days? Hell, I bribe teenagers to decorate it for me. I still help with the lights. Mostly because they don’t want to do it, but I’ve let go of my need for the symmetrically decorated tree for one my kids have fun tossing together.

2 – LIGHTS  I do put up Christmas lights. I prefer to decorate the bushes and my new house has the perfect tree outside. But never, ever before December. I’ll probably put them up this coming weekend. And I do love watching the coloured light just… sparkle I guess. I find it comforting. Peaceful.

3 – PRESENTS   I also try to spend time wrapping presents. With the price of things…and hey, the older the kids get the more expensive their wish list items are…I try to make the presents they do get look pretty. So bows, ribbon…anything to flash it up. And we put a few under the tree but with cats who like to unwrap them early, it’s a bit harder.

4 – BAKING  I make gingerbread cookies. And I honestly only ever make them this time of year. When my kids were in the younger grades, I used to go into their classrooms and make gingerbread cookies with the entire class. I’d book the kitchen and take small groups of kids there and they’d each get to make four or five cookies. That doesn’t happen in high school, but… I still make them at home. And they don’t last people. My secret…I don’t use molasses in mine. It’s honey and OMG… they are the bomb. Best cookies ever. (spoiler alert. I might just be posting that recipe tomorrow as part of my Blissmas post! So come on back. I guarantee these are the best gingerbread cookies EVER!)

5 – MUSIC   Yes, we do listen to Christmas music. When I was small, it was The Carpenters and Neil Sedaka. Now, well I still listen to them (I know, but damn my parents ingrained it as part of Christmas. I can’t help myself.) But I love Kenny Loggins DECEMBER album, and lots of country ones. Hmmm, I wonder if Nickelback will come out with a Christmas album one day… And the Eagles sing one of my favourites.

6 – MOVIES   OMG… I am pathetic when it comes to Christmas shows. I will watch the sappiest, corniest Christmas shows just because it’s Christmas. I have some standbys… The Home Alone movies, the original stop motion ones with Burl Ives and the like, the Grinch (animated. Always animated) But I’ll watch damn near anything if I can stomach it.

7 – FOOD   I have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I started doing this because friends and family sometimes had to ‘work’ on Christmas day. But now I do it because I love having the actual day to myself. To family. No rushing around, no endless hours in the kitchen. Just enjoying. So much less stress for me. And yes, I do the turkey, stuffing and the lot. Though I do try to convince the kids to try something different, lol. But seeing as they only get that twice a year… they aren’t giving it up.

So that’s it, folks. My traditions. Lame, but I own them. Now go and check out how the others celebrate this time of year. They probably do far more, lol.

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