Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's October 28, and today I saw decorations for three different holidays for sale at the store. Halloween on clearance, a little section of Thanksgiving in the cornercopia, and Christmas front and center. The season of holidays is upon us, and along with it plenty of traditions for each one.

I love traditions. They make every event more meaningful. Getting a calendar or a pair of pajamas is not very exciting, but when you're receiving it on Christmas Eve, just like you did every year since you were 7, well... suddenly it's a different story.

My problem with traditions is that now I find myself less often on the receiving end of them and more often on the planning end of them. Which really means more often I go without them. You see, I'm not much of a planner. (Just ask my mom how wedding planning went.) Birthdays, holidays, big days... they always creep up on me, and by the time I realize they've arrived and start to think of how to celebrate the arrival, the day is long gone.

So my love for traditions is very much conflicting with my inability to prepare for said traditions. I think this can probably be handled by purchasing a very large, very complete calendar, and marking in advance how to handle each event. But then there's the problem of how to handle each event.

I say problem, but, really, isn't that the fun part? Picking and choosing things you'll repeat year to year? Growing up, we caroled at Christmas. We ate crackers and easy cheez at Thanksgiving (just a prelude yall). We ate out Christmas Eve and prepared a devotional that night. And for some reason, we opened presents and ate cinnamon rolls to the sounds of Randy Travis and the Transiberian Orchestra. Strange? Sure. Did I love it? Definitely.

A friend of mine makes fancy caramel apples each Halloween. Another volunteers at the soup kitchen each Thanksgiving. One eats middle eastern food on floor mats on Christmas Eve.

And now it's time for you to share. I read your blogs. I see your cute Halloween donut tails and leprechaun treasure trails. What are some of your most cherished traditions for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas? Anything you'd like to try but haven't yet? Anyone else enjoy a good dose of easy cheez come Thanksgiving?


Shannon said...

I love love holidays and all the fun traditions that come along with them. It's kind of hard to find the motivation to do them as a newlywed though. I remember. I am just getting into the stage of excitement of watching my kids anticipate our traditions.

Halloween tradition is, as you mentioned, the donut cat. That's kind of the main one. Carving pumpkins and trick or treating is a given.

Thanksgiving is a little less major. We always had a nice, big dinner and my Grandma used to always make these fun candy cups at all the place settings. My most recent tradition is baking pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for Thanksgiving dessert. They are a big hit with the kids who don't generally like pie.

Christmas, ah wow. There are so many traditions. The ones I grew up with the adapted ones I do now. I love listening to John Denver and the Muppets Christmas CD all month long. I bake chocolate bread for all my friends and neighbors. We sing all month long around the piano and especially on Christmas Eve when we read the story of Christmas from the Bible. We have chicken scampi for Christmas Eve dinner. We leave See's chocolates out for Santa rather than cookies. I am all about the advent calendars and have several. We do a Christmas book advent and read a different Christmas story each night in December. Ok, well you get the idea. There are more, but the point is traditions make the holidays. I love hearing about what other people do too. I'll have to check back to see everyone else's (probably not as long-winded as mine) answers.

Kristen said...

This post is making me a little sad. We'll be at Jason's family for Christmas, which means I'll have to miss all my family's traditions this year. Cheesecake Factory and the big tree on Christmas Eve, and Pop Tarts and Cap'n "Christmas" Crunch on Christmas morning. Do you find yourself feeling the same way now that you're married?

Cosme & Judy Salazar said...

Thanks for bringing up such great memories.

Shewi128 said...

My sister and I started a tradition on Thanksgiving that we watch the movie "Elf" while making pies so we can prepare for Christmas.

lisa said...

@shan: I remember your John Denver and the Muppets CD! But I'm drawing a blank on the chocolate bread, so you probably need to share the love and post a recipe on your blog...
@kristen: Isn't it funny how major poptarts and capn crunch can be? I spent Christmas with Ryan's family last year and wondered the same things beforehand. But, while I missed some of our little traditions (like how "Santa" leaves your stocking underneath your pillow while you sleep ala the Tooth Fairy), it was fun to be a part of some new ones (for example, Ryan's siblings all have a big sleepover in the basement Christmas Eve). I say pack the poptarts and introduce the Goughs to the goodness of Christmas Capn Crunch.
@dad: looking forward to many more with you!
@shewi: ooh I love this one! Elf is maybe my favorite Christmas movie. (I think an angel just lost his wings, but it's true.)