Holiday Traditions

My version of the “Holiday Season” is Christmas. I didn’t really have Christmas traditions growing up (at least after age 12 or so), but I’ve sure thought a lot about the type of traditions that I’d like to have in the future as Nick gets older.

When I was a young kid, before my parents divorced, we used to go out on a weekend, picnic lunch and hot chocolate in hand, and drive the truck into the forest to find a good tree to cut down. We’d get stuck, lost, angry, and drive home late at night with the scrawniest tree in the northern hemisphere. Strangely, I miss that. This year, I have found a You-Cut Christmas tree farm about 30 minutes from here. Since we are about 200 miles south of any real pine forest, this should be a good substitute. The roads to the tree farm are all paved, and they even provide the hot chocolate. I’m looking forward to this one. Just don’t tell my wife that they want $55.50 for a tree.

The Night Before Christmas. My earliest memories of this book are from Grade School, but our family never read it. Last year, when Nick was just a couple of months old, I read him the book on Christmas Eve. It was really nice, and something that I would like to continue. On one of the weekends left before Christmas Nick and I will have to go down to a bookstore and buy a nice hardcover version of the book to wear out in the years to come.

Also when I was young, I remember going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house (actually Baba and Gido) and having a GIANT meal. After supper we would sing carols, and then we would head into the living room to huddle around the tree. Grandpa would come out, dressed as Santa, and pass each of us one gift which we could open that night. I still remember the year that the grandkids figured out that it wasn’t the real Santa handing us presents (our Santa’s wedding ring was identical to Gido’s). Strangely, I also remember not caring too much. We were kids, and the memories and tradition of the whole thing meant a lot more than the actual identity of the Elf behind the beard.

I’m not really familiar with the Holiday traditions of other faiths, but I’m sure that they are held close to the heart of those that practice them. I’d love to hear about other people’s Holiday traditions, Christmas based or not. Whatever they are, I hope that you make it a priority to continue them, and pass on the story about why this is a tradition to your kids. That way, they will be able to pass it on to their own children some day.

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