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And today, with Christmas only a day away, I'm joining up with Random Fridays (for the first time in forever!) to share some of mine.
- Advent. Maybe you remember that last year I posted a series of poems as part of the Advent celebration- four weeks of daily devotions and candle-lighting. This isn't a "just us" tradition (though it's not a common one either), but it's still one of my favorites. In the midst of all the bustle and celebration, it provides a much-needed reminder of why we celebrate. Without it, Christmas doesn't feel complete.
- Ladylocks with Grandpa. For those who don't know: ladylocks are similar in concept to eclairs or cannoli: a pastry tube filled with sweetness. Ladylocks have a lighter, airier pastry than either eclairs or cannoli, though, and they're filled with frosting rather than cream or cheese, and topped in powdered sugar. They aren't an every-year tradition, though; they're time-consuming to make, and the recipe makes several dozen. So, we only get these when Grandpa comes for Christmas. It's still a fun tradition (and one of my favorite treats).
- Pizza and Christmas Lights on Christmas Eve. Before you ask: I have no idea why we have pizza on Christmas Eve. It's just what we've always done: before whatever Christmas Eve service we're attending to, we go out for pizza. Then, after the service, we drive around town and look at all the Christmas decorations lighting up people's yards. Occasionally this turns into seeing how many reindeer we can count (less so now than when we were younger). Here in New York, this tradition is a little harder to keep, since not as many people decorate outside. We still do our best, though.
- No Rush for Presents! I imagine this isn't so unusual among my readership, but it's still worth mentioning. After breakfast and the final Advent, we open presents- but one at a time, taking turns. Having done this all my life, I was slightly bewildered that others didn't do the same. Not only does this method make the gifts last longer, but it means we can take more pictures to capture the memories. It also makes giving more fun, since you can see the receiver's reaction better.
- Dressing up for Christmas Morning. Another thing that I never realized most people did: open presents in pajamas. We've always dressed up in Christmas colors as if we're going to church, and I love that; it makes the day feel more special. When my sister and I were younger, we had matching dresses, but now . . . it's a bit harder, seeing as we've grown up a bit and can't even find dresses that look nice and fit well anymore. Occasionally we still manage- I think we might this year- but for the most part we all just wear something that's red and white (or maybe green) and looks nice and call it good.
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)