1. Family. This year, like many years of late, we get the extra bonus of having my sweet niece (aka daughter, best friend, sister) here with us. Then on top of that, we get to see some of my cousins and their families in the mountains for a few days after Christmas which is an extra special family treat. We also miss our family who we don’t get to see on Christmas but who we keep near to us, in our hearts.
2. Food. In particular, a much more expensive slab of meat that I usually buy which traumatizes me because This Bitch Can’t Cook and I don’t want to ruin it. Plus, lots of other wonderful food like buttery mashed potatoes and pie.
3. Tradition. My family tradition Christmas cookies and the old tin cookie cutters that were my Grandmother’s which I use to make them. I always think of my mom having the dough ready for me after school to help her press out the cookies when I got home. I would help her make green and pinkish red buttery frosting and we would carefully frost each one and add multicolor sprinkles. Every bite brings back those memories tenfold. I can’t remember a year when she didn’t make them for us or when we didn’t’ make them for her.
4. Meaningful Moments. A Christmas tree so pretty each year that I can’t stop staring at it — with multicolored lights and each branch covered in sentimental ornaments. Nothing about it matches which makes every glance meaningful.
5. Festivities. Fun and new cocktails that my niece makes for us – usually cranberries involved — with a jazzy Christmas song playing in the background.
6.Memories. Sleeping in my sister’s bed on Christmas Eve when I was little (this was a treat as she only let me do this on certain holidays). I swear I can feel her green checked bedspread at my fingers now and picture and smell the antique furniture that surrounded her bed. And hear myself asking her if it was time yet to go downstairs.
7. More Memories. My Grandma sitting in our green and white wing back chair with her slippers on in our fancy room watching my sister and I open gifts with an occasional giggle, especially when we opened whatever Madame Alexander doll she had given us that year. She had a smile and giggle that were perfection.
8. Music. Especially our Charlie Brown Christmas album that my husband has played every Christmas morning since we’ve been married for the last 21 years. This, with a hot cup of coffee and crumpling wrapping paper noise — more perfection.
9. Joy. Exemplified by our dog Tony completely freaking out when he hears us opening gift bags and rattling tissue paper on Christmas morning because he thinks every bag has a new toy or bone for him (this dog has a good memory). Monkey dog follows suit.
10. A tradition of Counter-Tradition. Staying in our pajamas well past noon on Christmas. Going to the local Chinese restaurant down the street on Christmas night (we do our big home meal on Christmas eve). Being the only Christmas- celebrating folk there makes us feel ‘edgy,’ as my niece would call it. Always reminds me of the Christmas Story movie (You’ll poke your eye out) and the restaurant scene with the singing and the duck (Chinese Turkey) – CLASSIC – you have to click and watch this scene.
What does Christmas mean to you?
Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays….