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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Traditions

Don’t you love the beginning of November? Well, aside from the shorter days and the fact that here on Canada’s west coast, we’re in for the wettest, grayest month of the year, I love that stores are already geared up for Christmas!

Okay, I confess. I’ve started shopping for gifts, browsed the holiday decorations in the department stores, and ordered our Christmas turkey.

What can I say? I love Christmas, and November is all about the anticipation and planning. On December 1, I’ll move all the boxes of decorations into the dining room, which becomes the staging area. My family says I get too carried away, but they say it with affection. I’m quite sure.

First I decorate the mantel. Then the garlands strung with lights and colored ribbons go up around the windows. And then out comes the Christmas village. Every year the village expands a little and this year will not be an exception. By the time I’ve finished decorating the house, which can take several weeks, the only decorations left in the dining room are the ones that belong there.

After the house is completely decorated, I watch White Christmas. It’s my favorite Christmas movie of all time and after I’ve seen it for the umpteenth time, the holiday has officially begun.

One Saturday in December my husband and I will head out to buy a tree and go on our annual holly harvesting expedition.

Finally it’s Christmas Eve. We save the best for last and decorate our tree on December 24. Then we light a fire and set out a buffet supper for everyone who’s here for the holidays. The stockings go up and the gifts come out. It’s the best night of the year.

Followed by the best day of the year. Christmas Day at our house has a leisurely pace of gift opening and breakfast and putting the turkey in the oven. Out come the board games that haven’t been played all year. The dining room table is set with the good china and candlesticks and my grandmother’s depression glass bowls. The turkey is perfect, as always.

Ah, yes. November may be all about the anticipation, but December is about tradition. Only twenty-one days till the holiday traditions begin!

Lee

PS: I love to hear about other families’ traditions. And please check back in December for more of my holiday madness.

8 Comments:

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Colleen Gleason said...

Lee,

It sounds wonderful! I love Christmas too, if for no other reason than because it's a time, once the day comes, to slow down and just be with family.

My husband is the music director at our church, and so he is at Mass at 4, 6, and 10 pm on Christmas Eve, and then at 9 and 11 am Christmas morning.

We have three young children, which means that since Daddy's not around pretty much all day on the Eve, and half of The Day, we have had to start our own traditions.

We always go to church on Christmas Eve, at the childrens' Mass. Then we come home, along with Daddy, and have a cold supper that I've prepared prior to. The kids get to open one present (always a pair of pjs or nightgown--which of course is no surprise!) and then Daddy goes back to church for "Midnight" Mass (which is at 10 pm) and I put the kiddies to bed.

Now that they are getting a bit older, we also go to Mass on Christmas Day--after all, Dad's there too. The kids are allowed to open their stockings, but then we get ready to go to church. Usually, because so many people go to Mass on the Eve, there aren't enough hospitality helpers on the Day, so my children fill in for that.

Then after Mass, we come home, finally! and there is nothing to do but open presents and be together.

And we do, all the rest of the day. Sometimes, because we stop and play or watch a movie or a game, we don't finish opening the presents under the tree until late afternoon! No one's in a hurry. We have nowhere to go. My dh is able to relax...and we just graze on food all day and be together.

We don't go anywhere (to the dismay of some of our families) and often the day after we stay home as well.

Colleen, who's getting excited already!

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger Bonnie Ferguson said...

White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, and early decorating, are all a part of the Christmas fun :)

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I love Christmas too. And I'm a big decorator as well. Only I have artificial trees -- two of them, one big one for the front window and a smaller one for our main living area. Since we live in a different state that both of our families, we travel to see my parents on a weekend other than Christmas, then go to my father-in-law's for the big family get-together there for Christmas.

And at risk of showing my, uh, Type A personality -- hee hee -- I'll reveal that I'm done Christmas shopping except for one gift, and I've wrapped all but two of the ones I've bought. I'm trying hard not to experience holiday stress this year, and the weather has been so warm and wonderful that I wanted to get out and get the shopping done. I'm so not a fan of the cold weather, though I know it's Christmas-y.

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

I love your description, Lee ... so evocative! I love the Holidays too. I think I'm one of the crazy few who "ruin" November for everyone else, since I'd be happy if they started playing Christmas music everyone on Nov. 1.

Our old family tradition was to go skiing on Christmas day, but now that we're a new little family of our own, that will likely change. The idea of staying indoors all day, opening presents and drinking eggnog by the fire, sounds pretty darn good. And maybe instead of grabbing an aged hot dog from a truck stop on the way up the mountain, we'll get Heavenly Ham and a couple of pies. Yum!

 
At 5:58 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

I love Christmas, too, and I'm a big decorator, but I start the day after Thanksgiving. The traditional tree-decorating video is Beauty and the Beast's Christmas. (I'd bought it one year when I was mad enough to go shopping at 5 AM on the day after Thanksgiving, and we watched it ever since.) The boy gets all the Christmas decorations out for his mom, but I do all the decorating. I have so many decorations that anything that is NOT Christmas has to be put away.

I also do a ton of Christmas baking, enough to put me off baking the rest of the year.

I've only got one present bought this year - ACK!

Christmas Eve is when my family traditionally opened gifts, so we spend Christmas Eve with my folks (Fred's mom comes along) where we exchange gifts. Our little family exchanges in the morning, then off to brother's for Christmas dinner.

I have a big Christmas letdown afterwards, though.

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I know what you mean about the post-Christmas letdown. You're standing there going, "Crap, now I have to get through cold, dreary January." I need to plan something fun for January to look forward too. Already have a couple of things in February. :)

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger Lee McKenzie said...

Mary and Trish,

I know exactly what you mean about the post-Christmas blues. Maybe I'll throw a cocktail party in January. We'll all dress up like Red Hat ladies and drink Cosmopolitans. You're both invited :)

 
At 7:58 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

Ooh, fun, Lee!

 

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