I hear the crickets chirp when I look at the blog. Metaphorical crickets that is. I'm obviously still adjusting to new parenthood with its miriad blessings.
I start back at work in a week. The words feel so weird, and it is a weird week to go back. A bit quieter on average, due to the number of people on vacation so an easy transition, but it is like a week with two Mondays with the holiday in the middle.
This week's 10 for Tuesday is 10 cultural traditions that you observe for the holidays.
Heh. I don't have a strong cultural identity. I am definitely an American mutt, but there are some things that we did growing up that I am hoping to do in the future or that we already do now.
1. Buying presents for siblings. Currently Q is an only child, but if we have another then when he is a bit older I will give him a bit of money to buy a present for his little brother or sister. I remember doing this growing up, and it was always a nice way to make the siblings think of each other in a more positive way. If there is no sibling, then it might end up being buy a gift for your cousins.
2. Christmas Eve presents. One of the benefits of buying a present for our siblings was that we got to open up one of those presents on Christmas Eve. It was almost like a competition to get something nice enough that your brother or sister wanted to open your gift first. It also took the edge off a bit, which probably made my mom and dad's lives easier on Christmas day.
3. Stockings. We hang stockings and growing up (IIRC) we were allowed to open the stockings without parental supervision. Always a way to get a bit more shut eye for the parents who were probably up all night putting together or organizing Christmas.
4. Breakfast? Our stockings always had a clementine or other citrus fruit and often had some nuts and chocolate. It isn't exactly a tradition now, but I would like to prep something like baked french toast or a strata the night before and toss it in the oven, so we can have a healthier Christmas breakfast.
5. Christmas cookies. This year I am not making Christmas cookies, and I miss it. I make cuccidatti every once in a while, because the recipe I make is huge (theoretically makes 400 cookies). It is definitely just for the holidays. It is also when I make biscotti or other cookies for Christmas packages. I love them.
6. Gingerbread. Last year we had a Christmas party Secret Santa style at our house. I made gingerbread shapes (I don't know if I moved the templates, so it might be time to do it again) that people could decorate. I want to be able to do gingerbread houses and men (probably ninjas) with Q.
7. Dessert. We normally have been going over to our friends for the holiday dinner. I often make dessert, and I don't see that changing. Usually it is a trifle. I loved the trifle I made last year, which is a cake mix creation. I'll have to dig through my Pinterest to find the recipe again.
8. The tree. We have a fake tree, but I would like to buy a live (dwarf) tree to string with lights for outside. The big tradition with the tree is mostly to put it up the first weekend or so of December. None of this Christmas creeping earlier and earlier that we get with retail.
9. Daddy passes out the gifts. My dad was the gift passer. He made sure that everybody had a gift before we could open them. It was good for anticipation and it made it pretty fair. He often wore a Santa hat or a bow (like the sticky ones that you attach to the gifts). I don't really want that to change.
10. Gift equality. Not sure how to put that. Normally there is a hot gift item each year. My parents were awesome about making sure that we all got something like that. So, my step sister wanted a cabbage patch kid, and so all three of us got one. I hate to think how hard that was to manage for any of those popular gifts, but it was nice that we all got some gifts like that each year. And it wasn't always dolls either. I remember a year when we all got transformers.
They aren't necessarily cultural traditions, but these were the things my family did or things I anticipate (hope) to do with our family. This doesn't really include my husband's family traditions except some of the cookies and it doesn't include the possibility of adding the religious traditions to our lives, but it is a start.
Now for a funny story. I don't know when I first decided Santa wasn't real, but I do remember that Santa wasn't something you claimed wasn't real if you wanted to have presents (not sure where I got that idea though). However, I had my 100% proof that Santa wasn't real when I was having a hard time sleeping on Christmas Eve when I was in my early teens and I realized I wasn't hearing my dad's snoring from the other room. It was such a strange sound to be missing that I knew for certain that Dad was our Santa.