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Christmas Traditions

Sunday, December 16, 2012

How are your holiday preparations coming?  As the days race by to the big event, I find myself a little behind on my holiday to-do list.  I still have more shopping to do, gifts to wrap, and cards to mail.

My parents are hosting Christmas dinner this year, as they have done over dozens of Christmases in the past.  My mom usually goes all out with her Christmas decor, and when we walk in the door to their home and see the Christmas tree, the gifts and all of her Christmas decorations, it feels just like Christmas should feel.  My mom's design style is fairly traditional - her dining room is painted a lovely shade of red, and there is red and white toile on her dining chairs.  Her brass and crystal chandelier is usually decorated with ornaments she hung from holiday ribbon.  Every year our Christmas table is set with Mom's white Christmas china and big red goblets - and every year it is beautiful.

Oh, and the smell!  At Christmas we are treated to homemade ravioli.  It's the only time during the year we have it.  Usually I or my brother help my mom make the Christmas ravioli.  We make close to a hundred to feed about a dozen of us, give or take.  

There is something so comforting about spending every Christmas in the house where you grew up.  Sure, some of the paint colors and furnishings have changed over the years, but it still feels like home, and it stirs up an emotion inside of you that you can't describe in just one word, because its an emotion that has many layers.  First and foremost,  there is joy, because it's Christmas and you're spending it with the people you love most in the world.  But there's also a longing for the carefree days you spent in that very house as a child, a longing for the comfort of knowing all was right in the world because your Mom and Dad made sure you felt loved and safe.  Also buried in that mix of emotions is an strange concoction of pride and sadness as you look around the table and see your own children looking a little more grown up - and in turn, needing you a little less. 

So, as we race toward the big day, my goal is to focus less on the pressures brought on by all the shopping and preparations, and instead try to savor these strange and powerful emotions.

Merry Christmas!

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