Our family has lots of traditions around the holidays. When I was younger, I especially loved them all. It’s so much easier not to be the planner for those wonderful times together.
My parents made Christmas day fun. No presents went under the tree until Christmas morning, except those sent by relatives from out of town. Santa doesn’t come until sometime in the night, right? We weren’t even allowed to look down the hall until after breakfast. The anticipation built to an intolerable level. Well, at least if felt that way as a child. When Jer and I became parents, we add our own traditions. One being Christmas cookies on the Eve of the big night, freshly baked, decorated and ready for Santa. After slaving over my famous pies, which are one of the few things I do really well, I roll out the sugar cookie dough. My job was to cut and bake. Jer and the kids job was to decorate. Multiple colors of simple frosting were whipped up in bowls and an array of sprinkles and candy décor placed around the table for everyone to use and pass to the next person. The kids loved it…until they became teenagers. At this point, I’d ignore the eye rolling as they drug themselves to the table. It was always fun in the end, but did I mention what a mess it makes…everywhere? Not so much fun cleaning up. By the time our first headed to college, I was ready to forgo this tradition but oh no. The one who left home was now determined to continue it, and so we did and still do. It’s risen to a whole new level. They brought friends. Hey, the more the merrier and the quicker we’re done. My family is also very creative and takes things like a Santa or reindeer cookie, spins them around and turns them into something entirely different. It’s kind of an unofficial competition. A couple years ago, Jer turned an angel in to Katniss from The Hunger Games, with a bow made of toothpick and thread for string. It was awesome. I smile, even if I grumbled a bit about having to make Christmas cookies yet again, as my family sits and laughs as their creative juices flow. We barely fit around the table any more but it makes my heart happy to see them, young and older, having fun. It makes the cleanup tolerable too. These are special memories for me and my family.