As the year winds down, I feel somewhat nostalgic this year. I believe it comes from being so thankful to be here writing and booking travel after what seems like an eternity of trials. However, that is precisely it; we can always keep our spirit no matter the challenges. December for me is always a rollercoaster month of emotions, but when I think and prepare for the holiday, it brings me joy. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite holiday traditions. While not all of them happen every year now, especially with the kids all grown up and the family spread across the states, they still bring joy to me. You may practice some of them yourself. I hope thinking of them brings a smile to your face.
My Favorite Holiday Traditions
- Cutting a Christmas Tree. I haven’t done this one in years, but oh, the memories of bundling up and going to go pick out what I always felt was the grandest tree. Over the years, I lived in many homes with Cathedral ceilings allowing us to get a huge and very tall tree. But what I love most, its the smell.
- Watching the Sound of Music. My favorite movie. Every December, it has become a tradition for mom and daughter to watch. And of course, you can not watch it without singing along. I was fortunate to see a theater version with a good friend one year. And probably one of the best family trips ever was a trip to Germany and Austria that included the Sound of Music tour.
- Hanging Christmas Stockings. To this day, my kids still find the stockings to be the best part of Christmas. We open them last. I fill them each year with the same treats. I fill them with such things as toothbrushes, floss, gum, nuts, chocolate, hard candy, chapstick, and more.
- Opening One Gift on Christmas Eve. After returning from Midnight Mass, it has always been a tradition to open one gift before heading to bed. Oddly enough, this one gift always managed to be pajamas. Insert winky face. Today, my adult kids still look to open that one gift.
- Attending Midnight Mass. While it can be a struggle to stay up, I believe this is the most beautiful and heartfelt of the Christmas masses. It just seems a bit more magical when you leave and see the stars in the sky. After all, it is the reason for the season.
I am sure there are more I could share, but as the song says, “these are a few of my favorite things.” I would love to know if your family shares any of our traditions or what others you might have to share. The greatest gift about working in travel and living all over is discovering other cultures. Learning what is the same and trying something new.