On my mom's side of the family, it's tradition to give one unsuspecting person a gag gift, and this year that person was my sister's boyfriend, Andy. My Aunt Gretchen, Uncle Gary, and Grandma came down from Illinois to celebrate Christmas with us. As is another tradition, we open gifts in order form youngest to oldest. My sister went first and then Andy was next. Gretchen gave him a small gift bag, and each of us, none the wiser, watched to see what he would open. When he pulled out his "gift", it was glorious.
I don't think I've ever seen his face so red!
...Granny and I were also "lucky" recipients! Gotta love tradition.
On Monday, I kept the rituals rolling with my friends Erin and Jenny. Since college (which means 8 years-gulp), the three of us have gathered to celebrate Christmas together. And that is where the tradition stops, honestly, because although we always get together, we rarely do the same thing year to year. We've done ornament exchanges, cookie baking, movie nights, slumber parties, Salvation Army shopping, and more. This year, Jenny suggested we tour Kalightoscope, so we kept our tradition of changing it up, and did just that. The giant light displays at Kalightoscope did not disappoint; in fact they made this 30 year-old feel very much like a kid again.
Monday night capped off the tradition trifecta with "Claymation Christmas". My friend Deanna and I have been getting together for 10 years to watch what is, in our opinion, one of the greatest Christmas specials ever created.
We started this ritual in my college dorm room when I was a junior and D was a sophomore. She brought her family's VHS copy (recorded from television, mind you) and I supplied the popcorn and VCR. Ten years later and the same is true, except for the popcorn has been replaced with booze.
If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and visit Amazon to score a copy. Here's one of my favorite clips:
California Raisins: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
On a side note, I was afraid to eat raisins as a child because I thought they were the actual California Raisins.
Nevertheless, Christmas is 5 days away, and the traditions of the season are alive and well. I find comfort in tradition, but mostly I love the way it brings me together with the people that mean the most!
What are some of your holiday traditions?