Everybody has different traditions, and growing up we slowly realize this. Traditions are a huge part of what creates the spirit of Christmas. Having the privilege to join in on another family's holiday is a wonderful feeling - but nothing beats the things you were raised doing around this time of the year.
I'm going to share with you a few of my family's Christmas traditions.
- Baking sugar cookies - Ever since I can remember my mom has had an amazing sugar cookie dough recipe. Bringing up the tin of cut outs from the basement. We'd cut 'em out, add various sprinkles and cookie additions, cook them up, and BAM! Best cookies you've ever had.
- Jim Reeves - My paternal grandma would always play Jim Reeves around the holidays. My grandpa passed this tradition along throughout the years after she had died, and now that grandpa's gone - my dad's taken over. I can't explain the feeling this particular song gives me.
- Fake Christmas tree - Pulling out the pieces from the huge box, separating the branches, making sure you've connected the right color coordinated pieces. You can thank my brother for this, as his allergies would mess with any real tree in the house. No - I wasn't using sarcasm font. I literally thank him for this. I just can't warm up to a real tree the way I can our same tree used since I can remember.
- Christmas eve with the faja - On Christmas eve we'd head over to my Grandpa's house and enjoy the holiday with my dad's side. I miss that Detroit house so much. The shy approach to my cousins and grandpa, black and white christmas movie on TV, the corner my cousin Kayleigh and I would hide and play in, the smell of cigarette smoke (yes - I loved it. No idea why), and investigating the house with my cousin. Each year we'd learn something new. "Who's that in the picture with Uncle Rick on the wall?" His 42nd wife Micaela, don't talk about it. "What's downstairs...monsters?!" No Micaela, the entrance to the empty second floor. "Why is grandpa's toilet and bathtub pastel green?" I don't know, get out of there Micaela. Ohh how I miss those days.
- Christmas day with the madre - Christmas day we'd hit up my grandparent's house and enjoy spending time with my mother's side. My cousins and I picked a santa or elf hat and passed out Christmas gifts. The older cousins would hangout in the laundry room during this time. This is because us elfs are way too cool for them. Or maybe annoying? Haha. Even though personally I don't follow religion (on the contrary, I do have morals), standing up before the meal and hearing grandpa say grace was always special. No giggles allowed! Luckily grandpa has a hearing aid - enough said.
- The Christmas parade - In our small town we'd always join in on the parade. Either through band, girl scouts/boy scouts, dance, or walking around with another group. Santa was at city hall afterwards, which really was something else. He'd be at the top, so you never knew if it really was Santa after all or an imposter. I liked to believe he was the real Santa, and always did.
This year is so much different. Depressing. I'm not spending it with family for reasons I'd rather not get into. I'm here in my boyfriends basement, waiting for him to return from work each day only for him to hop on the computer and start gaming. No sugar cookies, Jim Reeves through YouTube alone, no tree, no more seeing dad's side, I'm not welcome to my mother's side, and I can't complain that I no longer live in the tiny town I grew up in. I love the city life.
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