Some people love Christmas “the whole Christmas season,
Please don’t ask ME why, I don’t know the reason”*
Others might say “bah-humbug” or plot against “every Who down in Whoville” during December.
December 24th is generally my favorite day of the month. It brings my family to my home. We sing carols around the piano (loudly enough to camouflage my hack job on the piano). There is food, laughter and a true appreciation for the gift exchange.
Not that I’m morally opposed to Christmas morning. It holds its own set of wonder and tradition.
This year, I’m especially thankful that my adult sons and their women are going to spend the night on Christmas Eve. Because they want to carry on our Christmas morning traditions for one more year.
Christmas dinner is always fabulous. My husband’s mother cooks enough for half the county and it’s all delicious. This year, she’s roasting a turkey rather than a prime rib. Best of all, she’s going to make cornbread dressing!
Don’t count on leftovers of that ambrosia.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions?
*Something of a mis-quoted quote from my all-time favorite Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A great irony greeted me. The source was flesh of my flesh. Traditions that had been acclaimed as unchangeable fell beneath the barrage of personal plans.
A son of mine was incensed when I mentioned to him last year in December that things were changing. The kids were becoming adults. Soon, the family Christmas traditions of his childhood would become a thing of the past.
One of the tragedies of adulthood – you have to let the childish things go.
“We will always get together on Christmas Eve. All of us.” His emphatic announcement of one year ago.
When you get married, I told him, you might discover that your spouse’s family has their own Christmas Eve traditions. Somehow, the two of you will meld these into a new set of traditions for your own household.
This is how it happened for me. Christmas Eve was born after my mom remarried and her husband’s parents had a mandatory Christmas Day gathering. Mom’s family gathered on Christmas Eve and the other family on Christmas Day.
Happily, this worked right into my husband’s family traditions. They had never really celebrated on the eve before Christmas. It became the time my mom, sister and I brought our families together to exchange gifts.
Every year, we added another item to the tradition. The kids performed a pageant of sorts every year. My husband and I shared a Biblical perspective on the holiday. Gathering around the piano to sing carols is the newest addition to the list.
This is what my son wants to continue.
Except this year he will be spending Christmas Eve “day” with his girlfriend’s family. What happened to the tradition being set in stone?
I’m sad that my son will miss most of the festivities. “I’ll be there by 4pm,” he says. Just in time for darkness to fall and gifts to be exchanged. After most of the other traditional happenings are finished.
Did I say “I told you so” to my son? Not in so many words, but I parroted his words from twelve months ago back to him.
Did he say, “You were right, Mom. Things are going to change”? *Falls on the floor laughing* That would be an emphatic “no.”
But we both know who won this argument. If there was an argument. Which there wasn’t because that’s not part of our traditional Christmas. Ha!
What traditions do you hope to hold onto as your children grow into adulthood?