I'll Be Home For Christmas

Just three more days and we will be back in the States for holiday!
And the Christmasing can finally begin.

(We didn't buy a tree because we'll be gone most of December, 
and all my Christmas music got lost when the hard drive crashed.  Le sigh.)

Thought I'd share five holiday traditions with you:
(I may or may not have written a post exactly like this last year)


1) We buy our tree the day after Thanksgiving (and by we I am referring to my parents, my seven siblings, my little family, and occasionally a few others).  In the early years, we'd visit a nearby tree farm and literally hike the hills in search of the perfect tree (have you ever tried making eleven people agree on what constitutes a perfect tree?  It's a real treat).  Sometimes we'd have it cut, and sometimes we'd take it with the roots and replant it in the yard after the holidays.  (A far more romantic approach to the end of the year, as opposed to dumping the tree off the back deck and letting the goats eat what's left.  We don't have goats anymore.  Also it made their milk taste weird.)  More recently, we have bought our trees from Home Depot.  You'd think this would narrow down the time spent selecting a tree; it doesn't.  We walk through the entire lot, shake them all out, debate the pros and cons (tall? short? fat? thin?  This one has a little hole, that one's just a skinny pole. ... I'm turning into Dr. Suess as we speak), and then select our very own Charlie Brown shrub (which is then quickly netted up by the frustrated Home Depot employee, who has been listening to us make fun of all the other trees for a solid two hours), and head home.  The moral of the story: only communists buy fake trees.  

2) The best thing about the holidays is the music.  If you don't listen to the old vinyls, you have no idea what I'm talking about ... None of these hectic, modern renditions in which they ruin the entire song ... just Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Mahalia Jackson, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, etc., accompanied by the sound of the needle popping every now and then.  Can't say why, but this really adds to the overall effect.  Also music related: we like to have eggnog on Christmas Eve while listening to Feliciano's Feliz Navidad.  

Seven Bow Ties, I Bet
3) Movies.  We have a long, long list of movies that we like to watch every year at Christmas.  These include Home Alone, While You Were Sleeping (has a Christmas scene), The Santa Clause, Holiday Inn, Christmas on 34th Street, Die Hard (has a Christmas scene), and a few others that may or may not have anything to do with Christmas (which doesn't really matter because we have this endearing habit of talking over the movies so they're more like background noise anyway).  The viewing of said films come with movie-specific traditions; for instance, when we watch While You Were Sleeping, we have to have doughnuts.  Naturally they can only be eaten during the scene when Bill Pullman hands his dad a box of doughnuts.  (No idea how this started.  It's a very brief scene and, if I'm not mistaken, you never actually see them eating the doughnuts in the first place.)

4) At some point we have a really big dinner and quote the exact same lines, in the exact same order, from the exact same movies, through the entire meal.  Oddly enough, visitors never seem to catch on that a) this is not a real conversation and b) we are not weirdly obsessed with who mashed the potatoes, alien invasion, Dustin Hoffman's height, Cesar Romero's nationality, and/or the probability of purchasing an entire wardrobe of ugly sweaters at the circus.  Thank you for doing this, Ellen.  (If you don't watch any of the same movies my family watches, none of this will make any sense to you.  I'm not going to apologize or explain.  No we do not watch too many movies.)

5) Christmas Day.  Wake up late, have coffee, open gifts, have coffee, read the real Christmas story, have coffee, play around-the-world ping pong, have coffee, take a nap, have coffee, play some other really loud game, have coffee, and then the rest of the day depends on the weather.  Have coffee.  Every year we plan A Big Christmas Night Out.  This usually involves (coffee) dinner at a Chinese restaurant and (coffee) seeing a movie in theaters.  Then it snows.  My parent's driveway freezes over, and we are blocked off from civilization at the end of a very long, very hellish road (but at least we have all the coffee).  After which we revert to Christmas Plan B, which usually involves (coffee) a prolonged snowball fight, building an ugly six-foot tall snowman, and having more coffee.  Naturally.

Up for sharing any of your holiday traditions?  
I'd love to hear about them.
Especially if they involve coffee.

Happy Christmas Season!


  1. love that my dad's quote stuck with you so. I still like my fake tree. I think this will be the last year though, I sorta miss the real ones now. I think I needed a break from the Home Depot lineup.

    love ya.

  2. Love this! :-) always enjoyed spending time with you all around this holiday! Travel safely!


  3. this is the best Christmas post i've seen yet! every part of this made me laugh out loud.

    your family-Christmas-tree-searching sounds exactly like my family Christmas tree experience. it starts off being so magical and ends with, "just pick one so we can get the heck out of here."

    and i looove your "while you were sleeping" + donut tradition. that's the most original one i've heard yet.

    "only communists buy fake trees." yup, that's a keeper. i think i'm going to have to use that one.

  4. 1. i so want to have a tradition like that. our family has never had a real tree...no clue why. i need to take that issue up with them before i get married or move or something. lol.

    2. ahhh the classic voices. frank or doris = <3

    3. i have yet to sit to watch a movie this month... sigh. i want to watch "while you were sleeping" someday. strangely, i've never done so.
    you didn't see that coming, did you?

    4. hahahha...ohmyword. sounds grand :)

    5. i wholly approve of all that "having coffee" stuff.
    yeah. you didn't see *that* coming either, did you?


( hippies always welcome )