Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Trip

I have made it successfully down to the in-laws. The dog and I left way later than I wanted to yesterday, and of course there was traffic, but we got in about 10:15, safe and sound.

Londo and the Pumpkin made the 5-6 hour trip down on Saturday afternoon, and I had a glorious three nights of good sleep by myself! I got all sorts of laundry and dishes done during the day. I got the dog bathed, clipped, cleaned and vaccinated. And I caught up on one of my favorite shows (Bones--I love it!) in the evenings.

Although that was the longest I've ever been away from my child, I was really thankful for the time alone to do the things I wanted/needed to do and for the sleep.

Now, we will have Christmas down here at the in-laws, and a good time will be had by all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Question of the Week - Holiday Traditions

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate it!

There are so many holidays this time of year, from Christmas to Hanukkah to Eid to Kwanzaa to the Winter Solstice. (I'm probably missing some--please forgive me if I am.) Holidays tend to be a time for gathering together with family and friends and taking part in traditions.

As a Christian, I celebrate Christmas and all the hoopla that goes along with it. Growing up, it was always a magic time of year. A bright spot in the middle of dark winter, full of family, good food, presents and traditions. Some of my favorite associations with the holiday are decorating the tree (tinsle is my favorite part of the tree, and I was always the designated tinsle decorator), playing Christmas carols on the piano with my dad, pulling out the figurine and placing it on the handmade cloth advent calendar each day of December, setting out the figures in my mom's beautiful creshe and hot cider with cinnamon and (when I was older) rum.

On Christmas mornings, whichever of us kids woke up first would wake the others up. We'd wake up my parents, and while they got out of bed, we were allowed to run downstairs and open our stockings. That gave my parents some time to wash up and make coffee. After that, we'd have some breakfast and then get to the important business of opening the presents. We took turns, youngest to oldest, which was ideal for me as the youngest.

Now that I have my own family, I can't really think of many traditions that we have created yet. Londo and I have always opened one present on Christmas Eve, and I'm sure we'll keep that tradition. Every year, I do holiday baking with my niece (except this year, because I'm too tired :-( but we are going to do New Year's baking instead), and I can't wait until my children are old enough to participate in that. But that's pretty much it. We trade Christmas and Thanksgiving between my parents' house and my in-laws' house. But that's not really a family tradition so much as obligations to the larger family. So I'm still working on thinking what our traditions will be. I hope to get a creshe and an advent calendar like my mom has, but I hope to create some that are just ours.

So the question of the week is:
What holiday traditions do you have with your family?

Share anything special you do with your spouse and kids, or things that meant a lot to you growing up.

And Happy Holidays to everyone!