I'm going home for the holidays for the first time since I moved away in 2006. Money and schedules haven't allowed me to come home as much as I would like, but I'm looking forward to being with my family and celebrating traditional Peevy style.
As I lay shivering in the early Texas morning hours, I pondered what to blog about. I decided to share some of my family's holiday traditions with you. As a writer, I often draw upon personal experience to make my stories richer. One small detail or two can add more depth to a story. If I were writing a holiday story, I might include something from my background. You can do the same and include something from yours.
Here's a few of my holiday traditions:
1) I'm not really sure how this came about, but each year now, my family gets Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve. My mom used to cook a huge dinner on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. One year she rebelled and we've been eating Port China ever since. I'm not complaining. I am an egg foo young fanatic and it is traditional for me to eat this on Christmas Eve every year. I have kept the Chinese food tradition alive with my husband and his son.
2) My family has never been a live Christmas tree family. When I moved away from home, I figured out why. It's hard having a live tree with pets running around the house and the needles clog up your vacuum. My parents are on their third fake tree. This time they were smart and got a prelit one. I highly recommend this experience. It makes trimming the tree so much easier! My family's tradition is to put the tree up as soon as anyone can move to do so after Thanksgiving.
My brother loves the holidays and always wants to get it done the day after Thanksgiving. When I was five, my mother started the tradition of buying us an ornament each year. I am now 35 and she still buys me ornaments, which is nice. Now that I've moved away, I can look at my tree and each ornament has a memory attached of my family.
3) The Peevy's are not known for their Christmas card punctuality. It's my father's one holiday duty and he usually forgets until a few days before. Some years, he hasn't even remembered to send me a card! He claims it's because he talks to me all the time. Whatever, dad! The Christmas card conversation has become a tradition since I left home in 2006. I like to keep him on his toes.
4) We've always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve. I asked my mother once and she said it all started when they got married and were traveling up north to Rhinelander, Wisconsin. It just became convenient. I have continued the tradition with my husband and stepson, though my stepson thought I was crazy the first year, but now he likes it.
5) Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the holiday music. At my parents' house, the music always plays while decorating the tree and opening gifts.
I grew up with a love of music inherited from my father, who played as a professional musician at a local piano bar. (Dad is 78 and piano bars used to be quite popular. They've made a comeback, but it's not the same, according to him.) I took piano lessons for eight years and each year around September, I started practicing holiday music, so that by the time the holidays rolled around, I was ready to perform. My parents' were pretty happy when the holidays were over and they didn't have to listen to me playing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for another eight months.
I've enjoyed sharing some of my holiday traditions/memories with you. What are some of yours?