I love traditions. Even when they don't last very long, so many of my childhood and family memories are centered around these rituals, real or attempted. We had a "tradition" of having chocolate-chip pancakes for breakfast on Christmas morning, and even though I think we only did it a couple times before determining that a big, sweet breakfast only ruined our appetite for the remainder of the day; I still love the memory of piling on the whipped cream - they were happy mornings. Of course, it's also the rituals gone wrong that really stick in the memory - who could forget the year of the upside-down turkey? or of the extremely under-cooked pumpkin pie that my sister poured into the pan? These are the things we still laugh about, years later.
We have so many traditions that life within our house feel so much the same every year between Thanksgiving and New Year's. I love these comfortable routines, and my boys look forward to them every year. We get the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. We watch A Charlie Brown Christmas after decorating it. We bake and decorate cookies just about every weekend in December. We watch all the movies. We go see the Boston Pops' holiday concert. We eat lobster mac and cheese on Christmas Eve. The boys open one present that night (pjs or slippers). There are little differences that make each year unique of course, but the traditions are the reason Aaron has declared it his favorite time of year. I'm right there with him.
At the same time, it's a busy time of year, and I am overwhelmed. I am too busy at work right now, and exercise isn't happening, which means I don't feel great and am less able to be totally present for all the good stuff. I also haven't been spending enough time with friends. I need some friend time. We went to brunch at some friends' house last weekend, and it was so refreshing to have a fun, social conversation and connect with people I care about. More of that, please.
We went to our company holiday parties, which were tiring but also fun. It's fun to have an excuse to get dressed up and go out. I bought this jumpsuit last year and took forever to get it altered (I think you need to be 6 feet tall), so this was my first time wearing it. I was late to the jumpsuit bandwagon, but I looooove it. It's so comfortable, and with heels and big sparkly earrings it's dressy, even though my legs are hidden. Love.
My son turned 10. It feels strange that I didn't record that event here yet - almost like it didn't happen. And yet, it did. He's 10. Officially a pre-teen I think, considering his relationship with his brother. (All of a sudden he has no patience for him.) He's a sweet and generous kid, though, and I'm proud of him every day. To celebrate, he had a few friends to sleep over at the house. It was fun to look at this group of boys and see the men they are becoming. So far, he's doing a great job choosing his friends.
Christmas is coming, ready or not. The cards are out, the packages to be mailed will be late this year but I know my family will forgive me; I have started the wrapping, but I haven't started the menu. Ah well, no matter...we will be ready enough when the time comes, and it will be wonderful. There will be a warm and cozy house, a tree with lights, two excited boys, good food, plenty to drink, and family with whom to spend time. Bring it on.