Oh there’s no place like…wherever I currently am…for the holidays!
My entire life, I have moved around. A lot. As a result, I haven’t really gotten a chance to have traditions and I definitely don’t get to see all my friends and family for the holidays. I have learned to make do with what I have. Actually, that sounds really sad. Christmas is my favorite season, so there are certain things I make sure I do no matter where I am.
Wherever I am living, I decorate for Christmas. Even my first year at college living in a dorm room, my roommates and I strung lights EVERYWHERE. When we moved into our house the following year, we went and bought a tree. When I moved out on my own, I bought my own pre-lit, seven foot tall tree. I usually put it up the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving since I tend to be at my parents’ putting up their tree on Black Friday.
You know how some stations change to All Christmas music ALL THE TIME starting Black Friday? Those are my favorite. I’m also a fan of the Miriah Carey and Michael Buble Holiday stations on Pandora.
Early Christmas Shopping
As much as I love the Christmas season, I HATE crowded malls and stores and parking lots and traffic. My mother is envious because I tend to have 80% of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving rolls around. Also, it’s easier to buy things spread out over three months than crammed into three weeks.
My Family Christmas Tradition
One Christmas when I was still young enough to believe in Santa, my family lost power for over a week. This meant we didn’t have heat, so I had to sleep in my parents bed with them. My parents normally stashed and wrapped my gifts in their room, so they had to break the news to me that there was no fat man with white hair creeping down my chimney…but rather a bald man creeping down the stairs. Ever since then, we have had the tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. My parents have since had to implement restrictions since there was one time I opened a CD…when I didn’t own a CD player. Oops. Even though I’m much older, we still take part in this tradition. On Pinterest I saw a post that the Christmas Eve gift was pajamas for the whole family, hot cocoa, snacks, and a Christmas movie to watch. That’s something I can get behind!
I mentioned earlier that I don’t get to see all my friends for the holidays. Some I get to see earlier in the fall, others at Christmas, some not until Spring! My closest friends I ship cards to and a few special ones get gifts (but usually late since I wait until I see them in person). I wish I could buy all my friends gifts, but I just don’t have the money for it. If I do know that I’m seeing a large group of my friends, we try to arrange some sort of gift exchange – Secret Santa/Snowflake/White Elephant…you get the idea. I would much rather spend more money buying one gift then getting a bunch of little gifts that are going to get tossed. Also, we’ve had years where several members of our group were unemployed. Instead of gifting, we just had a game night or movie night so we could enjoy each other’s company. Ugh, that sounds so sappy.
How do you, your friends, and family celebrate the holidays? What are your favorite traditions?