This is my second-to-last post of 2016! Things have been crazy in my house as we prep for Christmas, the holiday of choice for my family. The only reason I have the chance to write this blog post is because I have locked myself in a room and conveniently been forgotten about by my family… for now.
Anyway, here are some of my favorite Christmas traditions!
1. Decorating. In my family, I am the only one who really feels any joy in decorating for the holidays. Because of this, it is my job to hang over 90 feet of icicle lights along the roof, set up the outdoor ornaments, set up and decorate the tree, handle any decoration requests from my family, and perform any necessary repairs on the decorations. Notable decorating adventures this year included: climbing on the roof to hang large Christmas balls and lights for the first time instead of moving a ladder along the side of the house (so much easier); completely dissecting and rewiring the outdoor angel pig my family is in love with (it was like an elaborate organ transplant and took about as long); and almost having a totally normal Christmas tree.
2. The Abnormal Christmas Tree. Because I am the primary decorator in my household, I sometimes experience a degree of spite when it comes to my decorating duties. This is especially pertinent to the Christmas tree. This, combined with the vortex of twisted creativity that swirls through my mind, results in some… nontraditional presentations of the yearly tree. Please note that we are not allowed to have anything other than a tree cut from the woods behind out home for Christmas. This year, we were actually going to have a normal tree. With no strange or spiteful twists. My father decided to help me cut down a very large tree to harvest the bushy top for our Christmas tree. All was going according to plan until the top of that tree collided with a tiny cluster of saplings in the large clear area we chose to drop the tree into. The back side of my tree has been shaved.
This is the front of the tree…
And this is the view from the side. You can see that all the lower branches along the back have been sheered off…
3. Holiday Garments. I have had the same Santa hat for as long as I can remember. I stuffed a jingle bell into the tip of it when I was very young. Ever since then, I have only added to my Christmas costume. It now consists of a festive sweater, holiday-pattern leggings, and more jingle bells than any sane person should wear at one time. The other notable holiday accessory is my father’s singing and dancing hat. We found out early this morning that his old hat—a Santa hat with antlers that would ounce up and down while blaring “Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer”—was no longer capable of movement. Thankfully, my mother managed to find a candy cane-striped elf hat that flings its tip around while blaring “Peppermint Twist.” While it is not the same, it will suffice in the absence of the reindeer hat.
4. Family Christmas Party. Like any other family, we have a family Christmas party where my aunts, uncles, and a selection of cousins and family friends gather for food and general merriment. There is usually a game to be played, and this year, my mother and I have planned it. As I am posting this before the Christmas party, and I have family who read my blog (thank goodness for those tolerant souls), I will not disclose the nature of the game. However, I will try to leave a comment explaining it after the festivities has passed. I simply cannot wait to have my loved ones here! And to stuff my face…
5. Friendsmas. Basically the same as any other Christmas party, but open to my squad and our friends. This year, we are inviting more people than last year, and having tacos! I have also taken the liberty of procuring a fun holiday game for my friends to play. Again, it is a surprise, so I will try to post what it was in the comments after Christmas.
6. Christmas at Midnight (or Whenever). My all-time favorite Christmas tradition also happens to be the one that has been around the longest. Ever since I could remember, my family has celebrated Christmas at Midnight (or Whenever). The only rules are that we have to be asleep until 12:01 Christmas morning and that we can have no alarms set. This means that whenever we wake up Christmas morning, we get to dive head first into our stockings and start tearing open whatever gifts we have received. Yes, my family is really just made up of a bunch of over-grown children, wince my younger brother is 19 this year… Regardless, it is an amazing experience. My favorite thing about this event is that we are not told to “go back to bed.” The excitement of waking up Christmas morning is never put off and dulled by waiting until 7am. We are allowed to feel that innocent and childish glee as soon as we open our eyes. And that glee is felt by everyone. My 19 year old bother, 21 year old me, our parents, and even my aunt who usually drives over as soon as we call her Christmas morning. The magic of Christmas lives in my family because we all feel that same joy at the same time. I recommend you try it.
Well, those are a few of my favorite Christmas traditions. Sorry for not having anything fresh and creative for you to read, but I am just too excited about having my family and friends together to focus on anything besides the good feelings that fly around during the holiday season!
I will attempt to have a regular, less holiday-ish post either nest Saturday or the first Saturday of the New Year.
So, wherever you and whatever you celebrate this time of year, I hope you feel this holiday magic just as strongly as I do!