Happy Sunday, Musers, one and all.
The holiday season is stressful, frantic, chaotic, happy, warm, loving, sad, lonely, and filled. It is also filled with traditions and that's what Musers are sharing today.
For those who celebrate and to all the best of the belief this celebration brings...Merry Christmas.
Christmas Day in our family has always been fairly conventional. We open our presents round the tree in the morning, go to church and then have a wonderful Christmas lunch, after which, there are always board games - Scrabble, Monopoly, Cluedo. And always, the day is over far too soon.
When I was a young child, we had a lot of Christmas traditions. My father's side is Italian, and we followed the Italian (Sicilian) traditions closely. No red sauce, and fish only on Christmas Eve (my brother and I used to have spaghetti with butter, since we didn't like fish), and then a massive five course feast on Christmas, which my Italian grandmother would prepare. An antipasto course, pasta dishes including baked ziti, stuffed mushrooms and peppers, sausage and meatballs, and so much food you can't move. One year we had a separate roast as an additional course before the sfogliatelle and cannoli we always had for dessert. No one even took a bite, we were too full. Once I became older, my mom carried on the tradition of Italian Christmas. When I visit my in-laws, who eat ham and turkey for Christmas, it always strikes me as an excuse for them to celebrate Thanksgiving again- for me Christmas is all about Italian food. :-)
Holiday traditions…There are many. Some taken from when I was growing up, combined between my mother and father’s families, and added to as I had children and got married.
The transferring traditions from my childhood… The unwrapping of one gift on Christmas Eve and getting new pajamas. My siblings and I always looked forward to that. We would come home from the family dinner and wait impatiently for our mother to say it was time. Then there was the stay home of Christmas. We went absolutely nowhere on Christmas Day that was (as my mother and her sisters called it) the kids’ day. And we reveled in it. My children thoroughly enjoy these two. Even now, as the oldest have grown, they look forward to that one gift and new pj’s on Christmas Eve. It’s pretty much the only time I don’t have to scream at children to schedule their baths, because they have it all figured out between them. lol
The traditions I added… Watching nothing but Christmas movies on Christmas Eve. The old classics and newer ones. Children’s cartoons and animated shows. Each and every one of them. Along with listening Christmas music. Nothing fancy, honestly, but the kids love it and look forward to it. Because even as they’ve grown, they still want to sit together with their siblings watching those holiday classics together.
The tradition I miss… I added this one. Because I do miss it. We live in Wyoming now, and trust me, there are more wild animals in this state then people. I miss driving around after our family Christmas dinner and looking at all the holiday lights. People still decorate, not as many as when I was growing up, and not as close (as when I lived in Michigan, lol). We have to drive far to see those lights now. Plus, normally, it’s not safe to drive around at night because of the temps and ice. Like this year. lol
The Christmas season is the only one which my family always celebrated and which I still "stellar-class" celebrate.
My apartment is fully decorated with my main joy being the tree. That's a 6-1/2 foot artificial Creation Tree whose ornaments are animals (extant and extinct), plants, stellar bodies, legendary figures, and, of course, angels and Nativity-related subjects. (What would a Creation Tree be without the Creator?) It stands behind a glass door in the bedroom while the cats and I move into the living room. This assures peace in my little valley. -- The story of Shamrock's first (and last) encounter with a Christmas tree would make a blog entry of its own.
The Masses on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are the loveliest of the year. When my parents and aunt were still with us, we went to Midnight Mass, sometimes crunching through a hefty fall of snow, admiring the lights on the neighboring houses as we went. When we returned home, tea was made and, finally, presents were opened. I go to church earlier now, but tea and presents still follow.
Dinner is smaller now, just my brother and myself and sometimes a friend. Dessert is a traditional Christmas (plum) pudding. We pour brandy over that, turn off the lights, and set it ablaze at the table while all present clap and admire the show. One year, our guest, who had never seen one, took a picture of it and e-mailed it to her entire family.
Because this is a season, there are many meetings with friends and many phone calls to family scattered around the world. In my case, that means Ireland, England, and Canada.
I wish all of ye the full happiness of the day and the season.
Traditions are important to me and mine, but we also adapt as life changes. Christmas Eve is spent with my aunt and uncle, it's as vital to me as Christmas Day at home with my hubby, child, and mom. How do you blend families...mine and hubby's...we always have family day with them on the 26th.
And while I know "things" are not important, there are a few items I've kept from my childhood that bring the warm fuzzies...my Santa, Rudolph, Jingles the Elf, an Angel, a nativity scene, and I was lucky enough to find the same angel tree topper for our family tree.
Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.
If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com