I’ve been thinking a lot lately about seasonal traditions, how we’ve incorporated the one’s I grew up with and added new as we went along. For instance, apple picking has become a regular thing for us in October. I never knew this was a thing until I met my sons father who grew-up in central New York where there are apple trees growing in backyards and orchards all around.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I’m not sure why, I’ve just always looked back childhood Christmas with fondness. I can’t really remember ever having a bad Christmas at all. It was also the only holiday that we celebrated consistently every year (I pretty much stopped trick-o-treating when I was about nine and Thanksgiving wasn’t really a thing in our family). Christmas was that one tradition that I remember having any kind of real anticipation attached to it. There was turkey, mom’s gravy, my dad’s southern styled potato salad (lots of pickle juice, lots of mayo, a little bit of mustard), sometimes extended family would visit. We would also dress-up. Like, really dress-up as in fancy dinner suit/tie, dressy dress type of stuff. In fact, it was pretty much the only day of the year we would all be in the same room wearing fancy stuff. Then there were the traditional Christmas themed movies to watch. Although this didn’t really become a thing for me until I moved to the states right before I started high school. A Muppet’s Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story were probably my favorites.
I’m glad that Liam gets to experience Christmas in much the same way I did. There’s something very comforting about sharing those same traditions. Although he doesn’t really like my dad’s potato salad very much, he is a huge fan of my mom’s gravy. He also loves A Muppet’s Christmas Carol as much as I do but has never really likes A Christmas Story. He was about seven when he watched it for the first time and he seemed to find the scene with the neighborhood bully, Scut Farkas, to be a little disturbing.
Liam and I have slowly added new traditions as the years of have gone by. I usually always buy him a Christmas themed book every year. This year I bought him The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburgh. This was partly to coincide with a trip we took this past weekend to Utica where we actually caught The Polar Express Train Ride :-). The train ride is provided by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad Company. The kids had a great time riding in a vintage train. It was dark outside so they weren’t able to see much of the scenery but that didn’t seem to matter. There was plenty going on inside the train. The Coco chef’s served up cookies and hot chocolate while everyone listened to the audio book. Then we stopped at the North Pole (otherwise known as Holland Patent) and Santa boarded the train. He spent time talking to each child as we rode the train back to Utica. By the time we got back, the snow was really coming down and everything around us looked and felt so Christmas-y.