10th Day Of Christmas: Traditions

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about family traditions centered around the holidays. Now that all three of us kids are grown, we’re kind of at that in between stage where a lot of our childhood, as a family, traditions have fallen by the wayside. None of us are yet married or have had children. We’re not quite….you know, established.

This, of course, got me to think about Channing and our future. Our future children, our lives, our pets, our home. I decided to start a running list of family traditions I’d like my future (and current) family to adopt. The below traditions come from various sources. Some may have been from my own childhood memories, TV shows and movies, or just things I never have done and always wanted to do. They are in no particular order of importance but I thought it’d be a fun thing to start and have as a reference down the line.

  • Dinner Wear: At the dinner table whether it be our immediate family or extended, everyone will have a special something to wear during dinner placed on their plates. It might be a nice pair of earrings, reindeer antlers, or light up glasses. Who knows. Whatever it is, it’ll be a fun and not so “stuffy” Christmas dinner.
  • ‘Tis The Night Before Christmas Box: My dad always tried to have us open our Christmas gifts on Christmas Day but every year, it seemed like we opened a lot of them on Christmas Eve (if not earlier) and then Santa’s gifts on Christmas Day. I’d like to go back to the traditional Christmas Day gift opening. However, I think it would be a memorable tradition to let everyone open a “‘Tis The Night Before Christmas Box.” Inside it would include a similar arrangement of Christmas Eve goodies each year. A new pair of jammies, slippers, a Christmas mug, hot chocolate (and marshmallows of course!), and maybe a Christmas surprise like a movie or family game.
  • Trim The Tree: I know it sounds cliche and actually most of these probably do but I want my family to trim the tree together. Anyone who’s anyone knows that decorating for Christmas can be both fun and exhausting so why not create as much joy as possible? I don’t care who helps or how it’s done but as long as our family can decorate our tree together, I’ll be happy.
  • Christmas Classics: There are too many Christmas shows and movies to name when it comes to squeezing them all in during the holiday season. A few of my favorites and some that I actually have not seen yet must make the list each year at some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. I’ve listed a few: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, Frosty The Snowman, It’s A Wonderful Life, Scrooge… There are so many I can’t even remember but you get the idea.
  • Skating: This is more of a winter thing and actually Channing has yet to learn how to skate but I would like to, as a family, go on a skating outing each holiday season. Maybe it’s the Lifetime movies talking but something about skating makes Christmas seem so much more magical.
  • Christmas Lights: Drive around and look at Christmas lights around the area. I don’t think I’ll ever have the patience to decorate the outside of my house as wonderful as some do so why not make it a tradition to admire someone else’s handy work?
  • Music: I love Christmas music. When I was in high school and worked at K-Mart, I would have told you a different story but now that I’m in the real grown up life of a world, Christmas music is so refreshing and comforting. It reminds me of so many things from Christmas mass to Grandmas Rita’s house.
  • And that brings me to…Midnight Mass: This one is still up in the air. I was raised Catholic and still value much of what I was taught. Being raised with religion as background noise gave me a solid moral compass and I am forever grateful. However, since being confirmed in 11th grade and going out into the world, organized religion has been put on the back-burner. Although the memories that I had were ones of great importance and the traditions my faith stood by mean a lot to me – there is far more that is hard to understand and accept. I believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit but I don’t believe that God discriminates. I won’t go further on that topic at the moment but I often wonder if I can raise my children to have a spiritual connection with God (or whoever) by not bringing them up in church. Midnight Mass was the highlight of my Christmas season when I was younger. The smells, the music, the ambiance. It was magic. Or maybe it was just the beauty of the Warroad church and it was way past my bedtime. Who knows.

This post is getting awfully lengthy. There are many more traditions I’m sure I’ve left out. I plan to send out Christmas cards every year, teach my children the importance of giving rather than receiving, and to binge watch Lifetime movies. I plan to show up and embarrass them at their Christmas school concerts and build snowmen and women outside. I plan to take a yearly trip to the Bunny Hill in Warroad and to visit family no matter how far.

If you have any fun or memorable family traditions, I’d love to hear about them!! And Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

“Life is very long.” -T.S. Elliot.

“..Not the first person to say it, certainly not the first person to think it. But he’s given credit for it because he bothered to write it down. So if you say it, you have to say his name after it. “Life is very long.” – T.S. Eliot. Absolutely god damn right..” – August: Osage County

unnamed

If you’ve been keeping up with me; I’ve been dipping my toes into a couple different artistic pools lately. I’m kind of trying to find something that I’m good at and enjoy doing so I can make a hobby out of it. I’m working on my fourth scarf (pink/grey/white/black) and a few posts ago, I had shown off the 52-week money boxes that I made for my mom and I.

SO, since then, a co-worker had asked if I’d be able to put together some sort of baby shower card holder box type thing. I figured, might as well! Funny thing is, I didn’t realize how challenging it’d be in comparison to other little projects I’ve done. The only inspiration I had to go with was that the mother is expecting a girl and a photo of a chair they’d purchased for the room. Initially, I assumed it’d be a little boy given the blue and orange (right?) but man was I wrong! I think it turned out pretty good though and an added a touch of little girl with the flowers brought it together but we’ll see tomorrow when I bring it to work!

IMG_4366

It didn’t take too terribly long to make but I worked with materials that I wasn’t used to and had a couple mishaps trying to figure out how to bond one material to another. All is well though. I think it looks pretty good and it is made for it’s intended use. My co-worker asked that it be dual purpose so the expecting couple can use it somehow in their nursery and I think I did just that. Check out the finished project here and give me some feedback.

In other news – My mom and I went to a few movies this past Saturday. They were the exact definition of polar opposite. I’m not going to give too much of a run down because I’ve never been good as summarizing movies or books or even my day but here’s the gist..

We first went to “August: Osage County” and the best word to describe it would be phenomenal! It was such a true, raw, and moving film that it could be relatable to so many different people on so many different levels. I was surprised to find out come Sunday night that they had very few Golden Globe nominations and weren’t even given the honor of winning. Regardless, it was by far one of the best movies that I’ve seen in a long time. I only wish that I would have read the book prior to seeing the movie but it’ll be added to my bucket list.

On the other side of the spectrum was the film “Her.” Now, I get it, I do. I understand the movie but it was torture to sit though, my God. The first half of the movie – I was engaged and waiting for something to happen but after that, it was just plain painful. And to top it off, a Golden Globe win? Excuse me, but what the fuck? Who in their right mind was elected to nominate this year? The best movie got zilch and the worst was praised? Give me a break.