To me, half (or more) of the fun of Christmas is in family traditions. True traditions are not contrived- you don't buy them; they're not premeditated; they just grow into traditions.
So, how does a newly married couple come up with traditions of their own without simply stealing traditions from others or forcing themselves into one? The honest answer is that I don't know, which is weird, because in 7 short years, Nancy & I have developed a slew of Christmas traditions. I guess we adopted some of our families' traditions and sort of fell into a few of our own. So, what are the Erickson family Christmas traditions? I won't name them all, but here are a few of our favorites:
To kickoff the Christmas season, we always watch Christmas Vacation the Wednesday night immediately before Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving Eve?). I think Nancy likes this one so much because it reminds her of her family... Last year we watched this movie in the hospital on my laptop in between contractions. I suppose that makes it Sophie's first Christmas tradition, too.
One of our newer Christmas traditions involves the creation of our Christmas card, which is basically a poorly assembled collage of pictures of our year. I do enjoy making it though. Most of the readers of this blog are on our Christmas card list and will be getting yours some time this week. If by some chance you read this blog and do NOT get a card, it is only because I don't have your address, and would be more than happy to add you to the list, if for whatever reason you actually wanted to be on it. So that's that. Here is a sneak preview of this year's card (FYI- it's a big file).
To end the Christmas season, Nancy & I always do a puzzle over New Year's. I think I stole this one from my family, as we would usually do something like that as a family over the break. Frankly, neither one of us is into puzzles at all, but for some reason, we like to do that one a year. Sometimes it can be hard to find a good puzzle that isn't insanely hard or simply a picture of hot air balloons.
Of course, Nancy & I have other traditions both in our own household and those we share with our families. We love each and every one of them, the memories they represent, and the new memories they create. However, I am most looking forward to creating new Christmas traditions and memories for Sophie. That may involve changing some of the things Nancy & I like to do, but I suppose that is what being a parent is all about, right? Anyway, we are now on Sophie's second Christmas season, and since we received such positive feedback from her after the first one, we figured we could do things pretty much the same this year, except with more chasing. This includes the extremely important inclusion of Danta Claus, who we will discuss in much greater depth at another time.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions?