Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Holiday traditions... or none!
Growing up, Christmas for me, was just winter vacations with a bearded cute and chubby man in a red suit. My childhood memories for Xmas are faint. But yes, i do remember the yummy eat cake at one of our friends. But that’s basically it. During my pre-teens, i was in a Catholic school. It was then that the stories behind Xmas came to life. That’s when i was "exposed" to the mythology, the history and the traditions of Christmas and Santa. It was then that i heard Ho Ho Ho, the Christmas Carols and the music! Needless to say, i loved it! But by then, i also knew i was a bit older for asking Santa for presents. And my parents knew, they couldn’t ask me.. Naughty or nice? Christmas for the family was days off and family time. I do remember that my parents would always take us for a drive to see the Xmas trees and the decorations of hotels and churches!
In college, Christmas was with the tradition of endless Christmas parties. Where Santa and Xmas lights were the last thing on someone's mind! They were the backdrop! It was more about dressing up, socializing and enjoying the evening.
So i don’t remember, sitting at the edge of bed the whole night, looking up in the sky for "magic" or tearing through gifts early morning.
And i was completely okay with that. But i still loved the "special" air around Xmas... it was for me, Diwali all over again; loads of gift, loads of socialization and yes chocolates. This for a sweet tooth like me was enough!
After i moved to United States, Xmas was always special in its own ways. I would watch my American friends from the sidelines as they would scrounge and work through holiday madness as well. I would help out, volunteer for the gift wrappings. They were happy, since it was big chunk off their plates, and i was happy at using my "creative" skills!
So i have always enjoyed the holiday festivities.. but from the sidelines! The true personal excitement for Xmas only started for me after i had V. Last year for V's first Xmas... we got her a lovely red hat, a dress and stood in line for hours and hours to meet "Santa" who looked so real! It was my first time meeting Santa! The real thing.. not from the sidelines.. but i was in the mix of it.
This year again, V got her picture with Santa. Santa was nice to her and asked her to eat her veggies and be a good kid! She was partially confused but happy to get her Santa button and cookie to follow!
SD and I deliberated long and hard whether to put up a Xmas tree or not. For this year, we decided against it. "She is still a bit younger to be bribed in being a good girl for a better stocking stuffer". Yes that was my reason ;-) But honestly, i don’t know what to do for Xmas. I didn’t grow up with it. But when i visit other kids and her school, i see the excitement in these toddlers about Santa, the gifts, the looking out in the sky and the magic!
Next year.... may be, I will set up our own little tradition: May be a tree, lights, gifts and baking cookies and stocking stuffer. It does sound amazing.
But for this year, I am content at driving through the city on Xmas eve to see the lights, getting gifts for her school, having a gathering of people... and pretty much taking it easy. But i know, in our own special way, we will create our own Holiday Magic.
The beautiful snow, the Xmas lights of the streets and the "special" air around this time of the year will make it special!
So no matter how you celebrate your holidays...with or without tradition.... I hope you do create your own little Holiday Magic!