Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fa la la la la la la

As mentioned in an earlier post...the holidays are upon us and I'm in full tilt holiday mode...reminiscent of the Scrambler the Husband and I rode at the fair in August. Running around town picking up gifts for everyone...and maybe a few for myself, baking holiday cookies for the Toddler's class at school, stamping the Toddler's hand print on a dozen pottery items at the local "you paint it" pottery store. And, when not doing all of the schlepping I'm sitting and sitting and sitting in the relentless traffic that seems to somehow triple around this time of year. While I love it all I am delirious and tired and...we are still a week out. But, that got me thinking...about tradition. Since the Husband and I married 11 years ago we have "flip-flopped" the holidays with our family's. If mine get us for Thanksgiving then the Husband's get us for Christmas and vice versa. Takes the guesswork out of things and eases everyone's feelings if they know in advance when not to expect us. But...for the sake of this post and the tradition I was versed in as a goes like gift on Christmas Eve followed by watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (and trying not to recite the entire movie aloud as the Husband says "it ruins it" Ha!). Santa and the rest of the gifts we do on Christmas morning. Stockings come last and are usually some of my favorite things. (note: when given the choice of picking your stocking, choose one that is knit or crocheted as it will stretch to any size to accomodate...anything...until Mom catches on and fills the lower half with!) Mom bakes a breakfast casserole Christmas morning and wassail will fill the air. We have to open one gift at a time so Mom and Dad don't miss a reaction and Mom and Dad have to be forced to open their gifts. Before the Toddler, I would usually pack up all the stuff I received and retreat to my room to go over every item...pouring over the surprises and "can't believe I got it" things. Then in a thick fog of LL Bean, sausage, JCrew, coffee, and Bing Crosby...we clamor to get ready for the day, and...over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's, Aunt's, Cousin's, etc...we go. Gran will make pound cake and hopefully chicken & dumplings. And at some point we'll squeeze in a showing of "A Christmas Story" during the all-day marathon on AMC or TBS. Now that we have the Toddler...the first grandchild(on my side)...the only grandchild(on my side)...things are a little a good way. I've always heard people say that when you experience Christmas through the eyes of a child it's unbeatable. Funny, I once was, child and can remember Christmas...I remember it quite well and while I am nostalgic for the days of my youth, I had no idea everyone was "watching" Christmas...through my eyes. But alas, I am excited for the Toddler and excited for the reaction she will have on Christmas morning. I am excited to share the tradition with her (even though we'll have to watch the "made for TV" version of Christmas Vacation...language and rubber sheets are well, prohibitive). I am excited for the loved ones I will see and the possible Bean Boots I may get??? And so I say this, the gifts may be different every year, it may be 80 degrees instead of freezing...yes, it's the South, and the "must have item" may be "out" by February...but, one thing's for sure, there will be Clark Griswold, Cousin Eddie, pound cake, chicken & dumplings, unflattering pictures taken, and we'll all...have a ball! ..."play ball" - Aunt Bethany - Christmas Vacation image credit:

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