Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Traditions With the holidays right around the corner, this time of year is ripe with traditions of all kinds. While there are the “biggies” – the turkey at Thanksgiving and the tree for Christmas, there are many small traditions this time of year that just warm my heart. Even though we are in a large metro area, the town next to us has a small town feel to it with a park in the city center. Every year they put up a lit Menorah, lights on the big pine tree, play Christmas music, and put up a near life size nativity set. What is so great about this nativity set is that they have a set of wise men that travel through the park to see baby Jesus. The set went up yesterday and as they are every year, the wise men are set far back in the park away from the nativity set. Every week or so they travel to see the baby Jesus. Our kids love this – we drive past the park every few days to see if the “wise guys” have moved. This is such a simple thing that me makes me happy deep inside.

Some other simple traditions we love:

  • Enjoying a warm, wood burning fire and watching the parade on Thanksgiving day. That last few years it has snowed the day before Thanksgiving. There is nothing like coming inside from the cold to the warmth of family and friends in front of a fire.
  • Cutting down our Christmas tree on a farm. We always do this the first weekend in December. Some years it has been sunny and 40 degrees. One year it was 20 degrees and a blizzard. We take the kids and they help pick the tree. One year, Kayla ate icicles the whole time.
  • Eating the largest cheese pizza we can find as our Christmas Eve dinner with wine of course. The last few years we’ve had a 24 inch pizza that barely fits on the table. The local pizza place we go to knows us and our tradition which for some reason makes it more special.
  • Arranging a snack and cookie fest on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This tradition has evolved over the years. It started at my parent’s house where we would cook appetizers and cookies and load up the table. We went to church on Christmas Eve and then we came back and ate and opened presents and stayed up until obnoxious hours of the morning. Nowadays we usually hold the feast on Christmas Day in the afternoon where Jerry’s family (and whoever else is in town from my family) comes over and we graze all day.

What simple traditions are you looking forward to this season?

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