Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Not your typical traditions

One thing I love about this time of year is traditions. There are certain holiday activities that happen annually without fail. They provide a sense of constancy and comfort in a life that feels like it's on a winding road full of surprises.

Here are some of the things I wait anxiously for each year when the Christmas season rolls around:

Decorating my tree on Nov. 24

A lot of people wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up their tree. Some wait until Dec. 1.  I did not choose Nov. 24 arbitrarily. It's the birthday of a very special friend, Amy.  I met her in 2003, shortly after I moved to Texas. Our friendship was full but short-lived, as she passed away in her sleep at the age of 29 in 2006. I can't even put into words the devastation I felt when I lost her. Even though much time has gone by, there is still a hole in my life that I don't think anyone will ever be able to fill. Christmas was her favorite holiday, so each year on her birthday, I put my tree as my way of remembering her. I choose to celebrate her birthday and not dwell on the day she died (even though I know that date well) because I prefer to think of her full of life.

Oh, and did I mention my tree is entirely decked out in baseball/Texas Rangers decorations?  Because it is. Red and blue lights and orbs, baseball cards, and various baseball and Rangers-related ornaments adorn my tree. It's topped with a Texas Rangers santa hat, and I made the baseball tree skirt. I love it!

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Riding through Jolly Holiday Lights with a particular group of friends
This is a recent tradition. It only started two years ago, but it really does mean the world to me. I thoroughly enjoy driving through Water Works Park with Heather, Maria, Rena, and Jessica, each year, looking at the light displays while sipping hot beverages and listening to Christmas music. I've gone with other friends as well, but I make sure to go with this group of girls each year.

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Kringla and Lefsa
My family has deep Norwegian roots. While I'll pass on the lutefisk, I can't get enough of the baked goods of my heritage. Kringla (pictured above) is a kind of soft, doughy cookie. Lefsa can best be described as a flat, slightly sweet tortilla, rolled up with butter and sugar. Norwegians love their butter and sugar. Mom makes kringla a few times a year but lefsa only comes out at Christmas time. Mmm.

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Watching "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" on Christmas Eve with my family

Forget "A Christmas Story" or "It's a Wonderful Life." The Griswolds are where it's at. I can quote the entire thing, but I never get tired of this movie. And choosing a favorite line or scene is impossible.

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The thing about traditions is that they don't belong to anyone else. They don't have to make sense to anyone else. They can be all yours.

Be sure to check out the traditions of some of my other blogger friends:
Sarah Hartley Slice of Heaven
Chaotic and Collected

What are you favorite Christmas traditions?

6 comments:

  1. I love your tree because it's so unique, and also that you choose to celebrate your friend's life by setting it up on that day. I've actually never seen "It's a Wonderful Life" or "National Lampoon's Vacation," and I just saw "A Christmas Story" for the first time about 3 years ago! Great traditions!

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  2. What a special way to honour your friend - and a really great tradition. Thank you for sharing this :)

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  3. I love your traditions and think it is so wonderful to honor your friend that way!

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  4. If I woke up tomorrow morning with my face sewn to the carpet, I couldn't be more surprised.

    One of my favorite Clark Griswald lines!

    These are some wonderful traditions! :)

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  5. I love your baseball tree and how you honor your friend when you put it up. Very sweet! I've never seen Christmas Vacation! Or, well, any Vacation for that matter.

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