A few years ago, I wrote a short Christmas story in which (nutshell version) fifteen-year-old Al Fischer spends the holiday enthusiastically telling his family everything he loves about the Christmas season.

By purist coincidence (or not…), Al and his author have similar ideas about Christmas. And he’ll be pleased to know that I’ve decided to commemorate our mutual obsession here on Ever On Word by dedicating a series of blog posts to The Top 10 Reasons Christmas Rocks My World.

* * *

#7: Tradition

            Talkin’ about that “time-honored practice or set of such practices” that makes the holidays go ‘round.

            All the big days on the calendar have traditions attached to them. Staying up to see the New Year in; the wearin’ o’ green on St. Paddy’s Day; playing hide-and-seek with colorful eggs on Easter; the list goes on (while I move on…).

            When it comes to Christmas, we’ve got two levels of tradition. Firstly, there are the nationwide – sometimes even internationwide (pretend it’s a word) – traditions that have become indelibly associated with the day. The festooning of evergreen trees, and the hanging of lights and wreaths. The exchange of gifts, and singing of songs, and the temporary obsession with a bearded man in red. All these things and more scream “Christmas” to people the world over.

            Then there are the private, personalized traditions, unique to every family. In the case of we Shipleys, it basically involves:

1) Driving a couple hours to Maternal Grandma’s house (often on the Eve, for sleepover fun).

2) Noisily hanging around with aunts, uncles, cousins, and presents galore.

3) Waiting hungrily for a scrumptious dinner featuring turkey, ham, and a happy-making array of soul food sides.

All followed by 4) Driving back home in the evening for the patiently waiting presents from members of the household.

            It’s a grand way to spend the day. (And if we can get a group performance of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song going, so much the better.)

            The thing about traditions is, holidays wouldn’t be the same without them. Come to think of it, holidays couldn’t exist without them, since holidays are traditions in and of themselves. And the best part of almost any holiday is looking forward to all the familiar good stuff you know is coming.

            Speaking of good stuff you saw coming, dear readers, you knew I’d be turning things over to you. Won’t you share your favorite Christmas traditions with the Ever On Word community?

4 thoughts on ““Tradition”

  1. I know it sounds daft but one of my favourite traditions is on Christmas eve, the family sit around preparing the vegetables for the following days meal.

    My Mum has a rule of 7 sprouts per person – we have 22 sitting around the table on Christmas day this year – you do the maths!!

  2. Going to look at Christmas lights! Drinking LOTS of hot chocolate! Christmas music playing everywhere you go and decorations everywhere you look. I LOVE the Christmas specials on tv. Frosty the Snowman movies are some of my favorites along with The Santa Claus (the first one is the best) and the Polar Express.
    I also like that its the only time normal radio stations will play music about Jesus.
    Waking up so much earlier than usual on Christmas morning without even meaning to.
    And i love the suspense and excitement of opening presents.

    • Ah-h-h… Reading that was like being transported from an everyday night and straight into the heart of Christmas. For all that I’m having a grand old time posting hundreds of full posts about Christmas for this blog series, its excellence can yet be captured in just a few stirring words. Thanks for sharing yours, Mary Beth. (:

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