This past weekend was Christmas, and, if you hadn’t guessed by the number of Christmas reposts I’ve been putting up, I’m kind of fond of the season. It’s a lot more work than when I was a kid, of course – that shift between primarily being a recipient of gifts and being a giver of such (Which, in itself, might be a nice metaphor for adulthood…) – but I am one of those people who gets a blast out of people liking the gift I gave them (And, luckily, so is T), so it’s a different sort of the same warm feeling.
(I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m an only child; I still get pressies. This year was long-sweaters and leggings a la 1989, warm socks and scarves and a long down jacket. We live in the frozen North!)
There was vegan cake (possum-free!) and vegan soup (and tasty bread) for mom and dad, spices and breadpans, warm hats and flashlights. There were dogs helping, because they do that. And for a moment, when I walked into my parents’ living room and saw the tree all lit up and the presents underneath, I was a kid waking up on Christmas again, and Santa had come overnight.
Christmas traditions have shifted over the years for me – when I was young, it was Maternal Grandparents’ in the morning and Paternal Grandparents’ place in the afternoon. When I was older, it was just Maternal Grandparents. And then, after my maternal grandparents had both passed, it was – well, that’s when I started doing Christmas Eve with my parents and my husband.
I like traditions. I don’t particular like change, if I’m being honest. And so when something we did once, twice on Christmas, thrice and it started turning into a trend, I held on to it like a tradition.
Movies on Christmas. I can’t remember what movie started it, but I know that Sweeney Todd and Emperor’s New Groove were a couple of the more memorable Christmas-Day movies. Back in Rochester, sometimes we’d go out to Denny’s or some such – someplace willing to be open on Christmas, someplace we could sit and chat, someplace with free coffee refills.
We moved down to Ithaca, and movies-on-Christmas-sometimes-with-friends became movies, the two of us. We skipped a year or two, but it felt wrong. Like Christmas wasn’t right anymore, without a movie.
This year, we put of seeing Rogue One for a couple weeks so we could see it on Christmas. We went to the sushi place across the street from the movie theatre. We drank free ea refills and ate maki rolls, and all was right with the world.
When I was little – three years old, five years old, fifteen, when my grandma was still alive – the kids would pass out the presents and everyone would dig in. My cousins have kids now, older than we were when that tradition started…
But on Christmas Eve, T & I meet Capriox at Tim Hortons (the one in the plaza where I went grocery shopping with Grandma as a kid), and we open presents with my parents and my parents’ dogs (I still pass them out), and on Christmas Day, we watch a movie….
I guess what I’m rambling around about is, I miss my grandma. I always will, I think. And I miss the way Christmas felt when my grandma was telling me about Santy Claus, when I knew I’d get a new ornament from Grandma and a new National Geographic book from my Aunt. But I’m pretty fond of my new traditions, too.
Now all I need is a cute red dress for next Christmas.
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