Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Traditions

Yesterday in my LJ a friend posted a link to a quick "Ugly Christmas Sweater" quiz which was quite fun to take, and that got me thinking about holiday traditions. It is human nature to embrace traditions, whether they be within a family, a government or a religion. I'm curious about your traditions in this tradition-laden time of the year.

Our traditions, as with many other people, revolve around food. My DH will be getting his materials ready and his recipes chosen for Christmas cookies. He hasn't baked for several years, but really wants to this year and is looking forward to taking Thursday and making my house smell totally wonderful by the time I get home from work that day.

These look so good!

We always have a Christmas ham - usually a HoneyBaked Spiral Cut Ham . I totally love these and we only treat ourselves once a year. Often I'll roast a turkey for either Christmas or New Year's, and if they have prime rib on sale, I'll get one of those to cook. Nummy! I don't eat a lot of beef, but when I do I like it to be good beef. We'll buy an assortment of cheeses and hard sausages for Christmas Eve snacking (although sometimes we'll keep it for New Year's instead) and we'll have our one quart of eggnog for the season. DH will also make Chex Mix (so addictive). That becomes my breakfast and snackies for the day and we can go through large amounts of it in a frighteningly short time period.

Although I love my turkeys, Christmas is the only time of year
that I treat myself to ham. So good!

Although I have attended midnight services at a variety of churches and cathedrals as I have grown older, and even though I enjoy the pageantry and the music, being a non-believer does put a bit of a pall on that. I've tried Christianity, but it just isn't a good fit for me. So rather than play hypocrite, I don't attend services any more. But if I was Christian, I would so TOTALLY be there for midnight service. I think there's something very special about the unrestrained expression of joy on Christmas Eve/early Christmas Day.

There is something really beautiful in Christmas candlelight services. 

We do gift exchanges, but since our nieces and nephews are grown up with families of their own and our parents are all deceased, it allows us to curl up in our robes with cups of coffee or tea, munch cookies, and pass out our gifts between ourselves. We don't really give a lot - boxes of chocolate, calendars, books and gift cards. We prefer to shop together after the holidays to get what we really want then.

Of course, I make my holiday cards. I have always sent cards to friends and family, but over the past few years have started the tradition of making them from scratch when I had the time. I started just making a few for close friends and family, but I guess I have a lot more of those than I thought, because my list is more than 50. It brings me great joy to see what my artistic muse comes up with each year. This year I am doing the design that I really wanted to do last year, but realized I didn't have all of the right materials on hand. I'm working on these each morning at the shop for 1-2 hours and I hope that they will all be in the mail to their respective end points no later than the 18th. That's my goal.

Thank you's go out to shirebound, Cindy D, Poo, Hans & Anne and Alexcat for their lovely cards which are now taped up and gracing my entryway. Hugs to all of you.

I always wished for a hearth to hang my stocking. My homes never had one. 

So, do you have traditions for the holiday season in your family? Did you light the menorah last week? Are you making holiday punch? Does your Uncle Alexander always get drunk and sing the same silly song each and every year? Share with me. Tell me about your holiday traditions. Maybe you've got a good one that I can borrow and add to mine.

No comments: