There’s no denying ’tis the season. Thank goodness Christmas is celebrated worldwide (unlike Thanksgiving) so I am able to carry out all my normal holiday traditions thousands of miles away from my family and best friends. I have been in the Christmas spirit since the day after Thanksgiving with holiday tunes blasting every chance I get, watching movies like Love Actually and Elf, and using the holiday as an excuse to eat treats in Spain like turron. A friend of mine remarked the other day that I may take Christmas too seriously. But is it my fault I’m just excited it’s that time of year? I think not. His remark came after realizing all the traditions I try to keep up that I’ve carried around with me since I was very young. I started reflecting on all of them and sure, there’s a lot but they are anything but serious and I will keep continue and pass them on to my family in the future. Thought I would list some of them out here and let you decide for yourself. In the meantime, I hope everyone is in the holiday spirit too!
Christmas music begins the day after Thanksgiving (and continues everyday until December 26). We spend almost every Thanksgiving in Red River, New Mexico where my grandparents live. Driving home the day after, our first music selection was more often than not Garth Brooks Christmas. This year, one of my favorite albums is MIchale Buble’s new one which I would highly suggest if you haven’t heard it yet.
Advent Calendar. The German tradition of Advent Calendars is something I can thank my grandparents for imparting onto me. Every Christmas since I can remember, I recall my grandma bringing me and my brother a calendar for the month of December that doles out a piece of German chocolate everyday. There’s no better way to start off a day than with a tiny piece of chocolate!
Christmas trees must be real. I’ve always protested any time my mom might have hinted at the idea of getting a fake Christmas tree. What’s the point of having one if you don’t get the smell of fresh pine wafting through the house? That’s just not Christmas. Not to mention, our arguments in the Christmas tree farm as me and my brother push for the biggest one we can find is just priceless.
Dad’s Christmas letter. Those who are lucky enough to get the Glenn family Christmas card know that Dave Glenn knows how to make someone laugh. While our 2-page update on the fam is usually half fabricated, it’s something I even look forward to reading each and every year.
Grandma’s Christmas cookies. Every year I can count on a tin of cookies from Grandma that are always the same- biscochitos and thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam.
Christmas Eve runs on a schedule. I don’t know when this all began but in the past few years, Christmas Eve has become even a greater day than Christmas. Our evening begins with a new movie to be agreed on by the fam (in the past it’s been Slumdog Millionaire, Night Before Christmas, Juno, etc.), then we head to a nice dinner at a place like Vesta Dipping Grill or the Brown Palace. Then, it’s off to Midnight Mass at Montview where I get to see my friend Becca for a present exchange and then we return back home to sleep soundly until it’s time for presents. There have been times in years past where my mom and Dylan didn’t quite make it to church, but thankfully, my dad always sticks by my side until the bitter end. What’s Christmas without belting Hark the Herald Angel Sings? (Or Hark the Hairy Angel Sings according to Dave)
Sharing the love with my Jewish friends. Christmas is undoubtedly a time to spend with family but that can be a hard pill to swallow for a pair of preteen best friends to grasp. Hence the reason many years ago, my best friend Dani started coming over every Christmas morning after we finished opening presents to play with all my presents with me. From Karaoke Revolution to many versions of Scene It, she’s our adopted Jewish daughter and I count on her knock on the door every Christmas morning.
Of course, we still get presents from Santa and he still deserves milk and cookies while the reindeers get carrots. Sure someday my traditions will have to be tweaked but for now, I’m content with them all and think that they’re anything but serious.