Monday, December 1, 2014

25 Days of Blogging: Christmas Traditions

Yeah, it's December 1st and I am in full-on Christmas mode.  We scoured the barn for decorations this last week and have lights and garlands up in the front yard.

On top of that, it is my first 'baby's' 18th birthday today.  For about the last week I've been remembering a LOT of things around his birth.  The gestational diabetes.  The pregnancy-induced hypertension (180/160).  The epidural (which sent my bp to 90/40).  The first view I had of Brian was in a instant camera shot, all bruised, with various tubes and monitors stuck to him and with a conehead that would make SNL alums proud.  The next day when they brought him to my room, they shut the door and left us alone.  And I thought, "What the heck am I supposed to do NOW?"  And I thought about how old I would be when he was ready to graduate high school.  (The age I am now.)

OK.  That was my 'mom' moment.

We always had 'real' trees.  Until we moved to SLC, and my father had passed away by then, and the year I happened NOT to be in town pre-Christmas, my mother went and bought a 'fake' tree.  I was *ahem* upset.  We had the ornaments my brother and I had made at school (back when you could make "Christmas" ornaments at school).  A friend of the family had made a white felt Christmas tree skirt with various felt decorations (boy toys, girl toys, various Christmas symbols), some glitter, sequins velvet ribbons and jingle bells.  *sigh*  Now that is in storage with my brother's things somewhere in Salt Lake.

We would also have egg nog.  Usually one or two days (Christmas Eve and Day), served in tiny cut crystal sherry glasses - the size that give half a sip of the precious holiday beverage.  Never more than one bottle from the store.  These days we get like two or three cartons a week when in season.  What can I say, we like our eggnog.

When we were younger, the decorations went up the day after Thanksgiving.  Later, they went up later and later, until maybe it was only one or two days before Christmas.  The older I get, the more claustrophobic Black Friday makes me.  I don't think you could pay me to visit a store on Black Friday anymore.  Not without a lot of Valium, hypnosis or something similar.  Crowds are not my thing anymore.  (I don't even like going to WalMart on the 1st of the month.)

Decorations always went down on New Year's Day.  We try to stick to that now, although now that we are in rural Kentucky, there is a pull to follow Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman" advice and 'leave our Christmas lights on on our front porch all year long."

As each year passes, I've gotten more and more away from the material madness the 'holiday season' has become and closer to the 'reason for the season'.  I know that the timing of "Christmas" came from trying to draw folks away from the Pagan holiday of "Yule".  What matters more to me is what the holiday represents:  the birth of the baby Jesus, and the world-wide call to think more of others and do more for others than of/for ourselves.


  1. I love Christmas too. There is no such thing as too many lights...unless you short a fuse. ;)

  2. Happy Birthday to your new adult.
    No matter how old they get they are still our babies. Mine is mid thirties. I refuse to acknowlege a number as I am 20 years older.
    I agree about the shopping madness.
    I have decorations available but am thinking do I really want to put them ALL up? I will be the one having to take them down.
    In the end I will do it.

    1. You should do what my MIL has done for a couple of years, invite kids and grandkids for Christmas and then have THEM put up (or take down) decoractions! *LOL* It's funny, though, lately I've been ADDING a year to my age when I state it. Go figure. :p

  3. Nice post, LuAnn. I agree--things change as we grow older. Perspective, I guess...or perhaps, wisdom.

    I never had eggnog when I was a kid. Odd, now that I think about it. We had chickens, and we had a milk cow. I think my dad was more interested in excess milk and eggs going into frozen black walnut custard. He would happily crank that old ice cream maker. :-)

    Thanks for sharing this lovely recollection. :-)