My Favorite Holiday Tradition

My mom said the first years she lived on her own (and couldn’t come home for Christmas) were the worst of her life. She didn’t have any holiday decorations and couldn’t afford to buy much, and the lack of them made her very depressed. She never wanted me to have to experience that, so from the time I was a toddler, she’d take me to Hallmark every year and let me pick out a couple ornaments I liked. Then after Christmas, we’d hit up the after Christmas sales and get a few more.

When I set out on my own, it was nice to bring a giant box or ornaments with me–ornaments I had memories of and felt an attachment to (especially because they are so expensive now!) They also bring back a bygone time of corded telephones, walkmans, phone booths, etc. All things that were common at one point in my life that are now obsolete. I love the memories they bring back. So that’s one holiday tradition from my childhood that I’ve continued with the boys. Most years I only buy them one ornament (because believe it or not, you can collect so many they won’t all fit on your tree!).

Now that they are 11 and 13 they don’t want to leave their rooms. I managed to convince them to come out with me Saturday to paint pottery, but I knew asking them to go ornament shopping with me on Sunday was a bridge too far.

I got them ornaments anyway. Sam got a cat because he loves cat things and John got an antique airplane because that’s what he loves.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?