Do you believe it is December already? Ok well, maybe 2021 didn’t fly by for you the same way it did for me. It actually feels like the longest and the shortest year all at the same time.
December means Christmas. A month of celebration and preparation and family. December has always been a big month for our family from the time I was a little kid. My mom loves it and her mom before her. The gift giving and the thoughtfulness of those gifts. Honestly, in my family, you don’t shop for gifts in December. You begin in January searching for the perfect thing.
Some people say that Christmas is for children. Heh. In my family we give gifts to the kids to keep them occupied while the adults laugh and have fun. Sure I love giving things to my grandkids now that I’m at that stage but they aren’t the whole focus.
There have been years – and this is one of them – where December comes around and I’m way less prepared than usual. Or other years where I’m not as into it as I have been in the past. But I just came back from 6 weeks in Pennsylvania where I was staying with my mom who always has the Christmas spirit. I watched as she began decorating for Christmas on November 1st and that first week of November she put up 7 full size trees. Full size to me is any tree above 4 feet. Of course there are several trees that are smaller accent trees too. It is a sight to behold eveery year. And nothing is the same from year to year. And I was inspired to do more in my home this year.
We tease my mom that it takes her 6 to 8 weeks to decorate. Actually, it is usually 7 days or less to get the majority of the decorating done and then all the way up to Christmas she is tweaking things. Moving things, adjusting things.
January 1 it all starts to come down and the house is back to no Christmas within 2 to 3 days. It’s an amazing thing to watch.
When I lived in Pennsylvania with my husband Christmas week was a bustling time. What I mean is December 24th through the 1st of January was nonstop fun. Christmas eve was a time for the extended family on my mom’s side to get together at my grandmother’s house for a raucous and fun time. Then Christmas morning was an early wake up for gifts and breakfast and hot chocolate. I loved to order those frozen croissants from William Sonoma. It was a splurge but everybody loved them. before lunch we would head to my parent’s house for more gifts and christmas dinner between 1 and 2 pm. By 4 it was off to Lou’s parents’ house for dessert and more gift exchanging and then at 7 we would leave there and head to our friends’ home for a lovely visit.
The day after Christmas we had a tradtion of going to the movies together and then dinner.
Then back to work for a few days and New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day after an early dinner of pork and sauerkraut – a nod to a very close Pennsylvania Dutch relations – the undecorating would begin.
Do you have Christmas traditions? I love hearing about what others do. Let me know. In my next post I will tell you what changed 22 years ago when we moved to Michigan.