My Favorite Christmas Traditions (post by Anna)
Every Christmas, I look forward to my favorite traditions, those things passed down through my family that make the holiday special and personal. I also have my own traditions I’ve developed over the years. Today, I’d like to share some of them with you. Many of these traditions involve my dad, who passed away earlier this year.
For as long as I can remember, my mom has had a set of unusual door chimes — cow bells painted gold and strung on a gold rope. They make a unique sound when rung and they always hung on the front door. Every Christmas Eve, however, my dad would take those cow bells outside, hide near my bedroom window, and ring them while shouting “ho ho ho.” I can’t remember a time when this act fooled me, but I loved it anyway.
Years later, I was amazed to discover other people’s fathers did the same thing. I learned this when I bought Harry Connick Jr.’s first Christmas album, which included the song “(It Must’ve Been ‘Ol) Santa Claus.” The lyrics start out with his dad pulling the same silly trick!
Another tradition in my family is fruitcake. I know, I know, most people think they hate fruitcake. But that’s probably because they’ve never had homemade fruitcake with the candied fruit soaked in bourbon or brandy overnight before baking. My mom always makes her own fruitcake from scratch, originally with bourbon, but lately with fruity brandy. Mmmm…It just ain’t Christmas without that decadent, delicious dessert!
Throughout my childhood, a week or so before Christmas my family would bake sugar cookies and decorate them with frosting and various holiday sprinkles. I am addicted to Christmas cookies, and I look forward to them all year long. Then there’s the Christmas lights tour, where my family piled into a car and drove around searching for cool holiday light displays. This usually involved a lot “where should we turn?” and “no, you’re driving, you decide!”
My newer traditions mostly involve decorations. Nineteen years ago (Egads! That long?), I began painting plaster buildings and accessories for a miniature Christmas village. I have so many now that this year I didn’t bring out the whole menagerie. I chose my favorite houses and set out all the little plaster people around them. I even have a Santa in his sleigh, with flying reindeer in mid takeoff. I also enjoy draping colorful, sparkly garlands around the house, and this year I decorated the mailbox. Oh, and of course, I wear Christmas earrings!
What are you favorite holiday traditions?