Some traditions illicit passionate debate -- white lights or multi-colored, real or artificial tree -- but all are beloved.
Then there are those unique traditions created by a families, shared through the generations, and cherished by all.
Growing up, one of my favorite holiday traditions was my family's collection of covered & decorated gift boxes. This of course was back in the dark ages, when stores put purchases in sturdy gift boxes. Each year my mother would carefully cover the box top (and sometimes the bottom) in festive wrapping paper, affixing ribbons, bows and artwork (cut from the best of the prior year's Christmas cards).
After Thanksgiving, my father would retrieve the boxes, nested together & stacked on the top closet shelves throughout our house, to be filled, then displayed under our tree once again. The boxes were like old friends, returning for a long-over due visit.
There's the little red foil-covered box, with the over-sized yellow chick (with a few sprouts of real yellow feather sticking out of the top of its head), that contained my very first Christmas present. As I grew up, it became an increasingly difficult gift buying challenge for my Mom to find something that would fit in a box just big enough to fit a onesie.
There's the green foil covered tie box with a little girl holding a sign "I Love Daddy". Surprise, surprise Dad, another tie!
Or the lovely pistachio green covered box with delicate ribbon flowers & fake pearls at their center that my Grandmother made for my mother one year. It's just the right size for most perfume bottles.
It was a glittery rainbow gathered under our tree each year.
I had dreamed of continuing this wonderful tradition when I had a family of my own, but alas, at this point the tradition is dead. There are no covered boxes under our tree --time & storage space are diabolical conspirators!
But there is one family tradition I doggedly hold onto -- my Grandmother's Christmas morning doughnuts. This is not so surprising when you consider this Housewife has a countdown calendar to National Doughnut Day. (June 3rd, in case you're curious.)
Each year, and only once a year, my Grandmother would make these sweet cake doughnuts (with a hint of orange & lemon zest and almond flavoring) for our Christmas morning nibbling.
I resumed the tradition a number of years ago, making 5-6 dozen -- some which get shipped to my Mother in CA to enjoy on Christmas morning with my Father & Brother. (Lucky for us they freeze & reheat beautifully!)
The frying of doughnuts is not a holiday project to be undertaken with little monsters raging about, so I must carefully plan or orchestrate a morning (2.5-4 hours) of non-Momming time each holiday season to measure, zest, mix and fry, fry, fry.
Well, with both boys at school 'til 3pm, today was Doughnut Day in Weeksworld...let the frying commence!
|Days like today make me super thankful for my Kitchenaid!|
|60-90 seconds on each side is all it takes.|
|Dozens of golden, slightly crunchy on the outside, light & cakey on the inside doughnuts!|
Each year, I promise to exercise restraint during my morning of frying, but each year I struggling through yet another afternoon of fried carbohydrate tummy distress and ER-worthy sugar crashing...but these guys are so worth it!
Tonight, 2 1/2 dozen are stashed away in my freeze for Christmas morning, while another 2 1/2 dozen are ready to ship out for CA first thing tomorrow morning.
Maybe someday I'll find the motivation and space to revive the covered-box tradition, but for now I'm perfectly content with my doughnuts (and a house the reeks of fried dough).
So what are your favorite holiday traditions -- past or present, new or old, or awating revival?
Now enough procrastinating, you better get back to your Mama-Elf holiday lists!