It's always fascinated me that though holidays evoke the same strong reactions from people, the traditions that are the blueprints, the backbones of these days, are largely unrecognizable from family unit to family unit. It's the part of the season that is tailored to who you and your family are together. The traditions that you loathe and the traditions that transport you back to being a wide-eyed child awash with wonder. It's the part that we build on and customize as our families grow. The way we retain time-tested rituals in honour of family members that have left us, and the way we create new ones with strangers we befriend into our homes on holidays and additions to our families.
My family Christmas's have always been tinted with a healthy dose of cynical humour - all thanks to my Mom and her fantastic, twisted, whimsical comedic inclination. I'm all for the fuzzies, but the things that feel most real to me are the mishaps and the insanity and the hub-bub of the season, such as: laughing until you cry about burning a turkey, watching 'A Christmas Story' and 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' - you know the stuff I'm talking about. The cookie-cutter Christmas is all well and good from the outside of the bubble, but what really joins people is taking part in the madness together.
So what I was really trying to get at here is that traditions are unique and I'm always curious about other people's family holiday rituals. What are some things you do to make the season yours?
Here's one of ours:
From the time I was little we had a tradition of being allowed to open one gift on Christmas eve. I know a lot of people do this. In our case it was always from my GramB & Poppa (my dad's parents), and it was always the very same thing - pyjamas. I would've thought a kid would be bored to death knowing what was in that box every single gosh darn year - and that it wasn't a toy?! what is this cruel mischief?! But in reality it was always one of my favourite counted-upon moments. Going to bed in a fresh, warm pair of PJs was just so exciting and marked the first step in what would be a whirlwind of fun to come. So now that I am no longer the kid, guess what? - I still love it. It's never been about the gift, it's been about the tradition.
Here are some of my favourite PJ picks for this year. Maybe think about gifting some to a family member or friend - or maybe even yourself for a really indulgent christmas eve sleep this year. The best thing about traditions is you can always start new ones.
*Images above are pulled from Websites & Pinterest - sources linked when possible