General Blog, writing

A Non-traditional Tradition

I think Christmas is one of the holidays I look forward to most.

I’m not a huge fan of Halloween, don’t really like getting dressed up all that much, not a huge fan of going to costume parties. Thanksgiving is alright, really just a celebration and excuse to eat as much food as you possibly can and not be judged for going back for thirds on pumpkin pie.

Christmas lights never fail to make the dark Vermont December nights warmer and cheerier!
Our Christmas lights went up the day after Thanksgiving!

The summer and spring holidays are pretty good too, the Fourth of July is always fun with the fireworks. And there’s Memorial Day which I’ve never been good about celebrating. Labor Day is good too, but usually meant school started up and summer was over, so not that exciting.

But Christmas is a month of celebrating and being cozy and watching endless Hallmark Channel movies and drinking endless cups of hot chocolate. The whole month of December makes me happy and excited. Everything is festive and light up, people seem to smile more, there’s more warm mugs of cocoa, more candy canes. And it’s a great excuse to buy gifts for people.

Some holiday traditions are hard not to follow through with like baking enough cookies to feed a small nation.
With the help of Dan’s mom we were able to create enough cookies to feed a small nation.

I think I like the giving more than the receiving. Planning out for gifts is fun. Whether it’s a serious gift or a stupid one (which I sometimes am more fond of) it’s fun to pick things out that another person might enjoy, or might want but not get themselves.

I started thinking of gifts to give months ahead of time, especially for Dan since he’d keep mentioning things that he wanted but would never in a million years get for himself. My parents are a little bit harder to shop for; my brother is painfully hard to shop for.

We set up our tree the day after Thanksgiving, got to cut it down from my grandparents’ house and got some great ornaments from them as well. By this point the tree is a little more branch and a little less needle but covered in enough ornaments, it looks great!

Our Christmas this year was a little off the traditional side of things. Since I haven’t been in the area for a few Christmases was just perfect. For starters we had my grandparent’s Christmas party December 1st, so we barely had time to get into the holiday spirit. It was a great party, I got to bring Dan and his famous holiday cat sweater, and got a pretty great gift in the Yankee swap.

Christmas cards are part of the fun. Ours is not very traditional, but has some great Christmas puns.
Probably the best Christmas card in the history of Christmas cards.

December festivities were pretty normal from that point on, then changed up a bit on Christmas Eve. Dan and I both worked, I think I saw my parents while painting one of their flip houses, then we went to visit Dan’s mom in the hospital. Where I promptly was slaughtered in a game of Pinochle. Which if you have never played is a very confusing game played with a deck of 48 cards 9 through Ace.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the hang of it, but towards the end of the game, I think I might have gotten a few pieces not totally incorrect. Rule number one I learned was always bet on a flush or set of aces. But the next time I play I will probably forget.

When we got home I sent Dan on a hunt around the house for index cards that I had made with horrible, yet hilarious, Christmas pickup lines. Because it was funny. I think we made hot chocolate and watched a Christmas classic: Elf. I broke down and paid for it since it was not freely available on Netflix or TV. But the $4.99 for the movie was totally worth it.

Christmas breakfast is a great way to start off the holiday, waffles, bacon and coffee are hard to beat for a Christmas tradition.
Christmas breakfast included pistachio waffles, bacon, and coffee loaded with whipped cream.

On Christmas morning, which we keep saying was not actual Christmas since we celebrated on the 29th, we got up and made waffles and bacon and coffee with whipped cream. Fun fact if there is a can of whipped cream in the house it will not last longer than 3 days. Scientifically proven.

I think Dan and I both have a whipped cream problem.

Spent the day with our parents, at separate times. More cards and Scrabble with Dan’s mom (I am probably the absolute worst person to play Scrabble with) and watched in amazement as Dan used up all his letters more than once. It was more fun to watch the two of them play than play myself.

My parents and grandparents came over to our house after; where we played a game I am a little better suited to, Skip-Bo. Not a lot of heavy-thinking required, so perfect for me!

Sometimes you need a break from all the holiday excitement, ice fishing in Vermont is just cold enough to make it fun.
Spending a bit of time between the holidays ice fishing on a local pond, unfortunately Dan got the biggest fish!

Then a few days passed, and it was our real Christmas celebration on the 29th. It was the first time I got to celebrate Christmas in my own house.

It was a bit crazy, trying to organize my parents, grandparents, brother and his girlfriend, and my two roommates and their significant others, but with Dan’s help we managed to pull the thing off.

Snacks and apps make Christmas seem even better, some traditional are hard to kill like eating so much food!
Nothing like a lot of snacks and apps before a big meal to really make it feel like Christmas!

Every year my family goes a little overboard with the amount of gift giving, I’m thinking next year there may have to be a two gift per person limit. But it was a lot of fun, I got a lot of really great baking items. I’m still hoping to one day open that café, so this is great practice for my future!

One of the big gift items was a brand new Kitchen Aid from my grandparents! Absolutely thrilled about it and can’t wait to start using it!

The Kitchen Aid makes the whole kitchen look finished, one of the best Christmas gifts.
I may or may not have completely rearranged the kitchen counters to make this Kitchen Aid the centerpiece.

As usual, I ate so much good food, drank maybe a little too much good wine, and had a fantastic time.

Thinking back to where I was a year ago, living at home with barely $100 US dollars to my name, it’s crazy to think what a year I’ve had.

Although our Christmas celebrations may not be anything close too traditional, they are to me. Not sure I’d want to trade any of it in for a more traditional Christmas, it’s weird, loud, and just the way I want it.

Family photo at Christmas.
Managed to get a halfway decent family photo, a bit unorganized, a bit weird, but hey if your family isn’t are they really family?

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