Growing up we didn’t have many traditions that we stuck to when it came to the holidays. We did most of the normal holiday stuff, but there wasn’t a sense of we-must-do-it-this-way-or-it-isn’t-a-holiday. I guess I can thank my parents for being pretty laid back when it comes to the holidays. It was all about family – seeing family and celebrating with family. That didn’t have to happen on a certain day or at a certain time. In fact, when I got married my parents told me they wanted to see us for holidays at the times that worked best for us. They understood what it meant to juggle two families as well as church commitments, so they wanted us to know that we could celebrate with them anytime. There was no pressure. It’s not about a day. It’s about a season and spending time together.
Today is a transition day for me. In October I start craving Christmas things – like listening to Christmas music and pulling out my Christmas dishes. Jeremy always tries to hold me off until the beginning of November. With a big event like Fall Fest tonight, I need to keep my head in the game and in the month of October! But tomorrow… tomorrow will be like releasing the flood gates and letting the holiday spirit just flow everywhere! Tomorrow is Red Cup Day! Where Starbucks brings out the Red Cups and starts serving their holiday drinks! I only allow myself to get Peppermint Hot Chocolates at this time of year to keep the drink special – just like how I only order Caramel Apple Spice when it’s the fall/winter. Some things are best when they are seasonal and special.
Now I’m not completely void of holiday traditions – here are a few I’m looking forward to:
- Seasonal Dishware – For November, December and January I pull out my penguin dishes! They are super cute with skating penguins on them.
- Shopping Trip to Portland – I love doing my Christmas shopping in Portland! No sales tax and a day with my hubby in one of my favorite cities is always the best.
- Early morning Red Cup – I always get to Starbucks super early on Red Cup Day. It’s magical. I drink more Starbucks at this time of year than any other. I’m sure the red cups make it taste better.
- A Special Dinner – Every year I get together with some friends from high school and we do a special Christmas dinner. It’s a time honored tradition and it keeps us together even though we don’t live in the same areas.
- Class Christmas Party – Every year I try to plan an awesome Christmas party for my kiddos on Wednesday nights. This night is one of the highlights of my year as teacher.
- Decorating the day after Thanksgiving – I wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate. I think it gives Thanksgiving the special place it deserves. The next day though is free game for decorating. Some people brave the Black Friday craziness… but not me. My hubby is usually out in the wood trying to kill an animal on Black Friday, so I stay home, sleep in, and decorate my house while listening to Christmas music.
- Good Food – It’s not the holiday season without a TON of holiday baking! I love it! Every year we make these awesome butter cookies and frost them with all the fixings! Yum!
The next two months are some of my favorite times! I know a lot of people cringe at even the sound of the word “holiday” or “Christmas” right now. I get that. I really do. I just love it so much. I want the season to last and I want to make the most every moment of it. I want to sing at the top of my lungs, make my house smells like cookies and drink too many beverages from red cups. I want to spend way too much time with family and loved ones. I want to enjoy each second of it!
As I say good-bye to October with all its color, I say hello to November and to another day, another month to celebrate God’s goodness. November – a month to focus on gratitude and the attitude of my heart. It’s a month to live thanksgiving and to live joy. These are the best days.
Oh, I should also mention that “Falling Back” for daylight savings is another reason why this season is the best! An extra hour of sleep is like heaven! It’s just as good as Christmas in my book! I’m not sure if I could consider daylight savings a “holiday” tradition, but it’s one of the best ways to kick off the season in my book.
How about you? What are you looking forward to?