Returning to old habits and talking Christmas

So I realized the other day that when I started skating two winters back that I stopped tracking workouts. So I’m gonna get back on that to hold me accountable and shit. (Yeah, that’s right. I DO WHAT I WANT! And when I don’t wanna do it, I do it anyway, mostly. Mostly.) So today I did an arms workout (mostly triceps). There. Tracked!

Oh, and BTW, it’s apparently the week of Mels Making Minor Mistakes on the blog–Slice, Mae Day, and Dirty were skating with Team MD last night, but are not normally on team MD.

So new friend-of-the-blog HollyCidal posted about Christmas traditions and because I too am a January baby who loves Christmas but isn’t much for religion, I thought I’d join the party, and talk about how traditions can change.

I believe I’ve mentioned before, my dad says he doesn’t believe in putting up the Christmas tree before Christmas eve, and as Christmas-loving children, my brother and I were not willing to wait. So on the years he was home for the holiday, or at all in December, really, there was much bargaining about when the tree would go up. Once it did, we had two traditions from his side: stringing popcorn and cranberries in order to make it look like the tree had snow in it, and making gingerbread cut out cookies, decorating them, and hanging them on the tree. From mom’s side, we share oplatki and have a meatless Christmas Eve dinner. When I was a kid, we’d go to midnight mass, and it seemed like magic to me, so long after I became less interested in maintaining a relationship with the church, I insisted on midnight mass, the only magical church service. For years in my early 20s I made everyone go because it was the only way I would go, even though once we were there I no longer felt the magic. Particularly after I was out of high school, mom wouldn’t join us for mass, but whether she went to church or not, she made sure there was a Christmas ham in the oven so that when we returned in the very first hour of Christmas day, we could munch on ham before bed.

My personal Christmas eve tradition for a good decade or so was to listen to 99.1 WHFS for most of the day (it was on all day, I just wasn’t always in the room with it) while every one of their DJs took a shift playing non-stop but mostly super fun alternative Christmas music. They recorded it and replayed it on Christmas day. I kept it playing quietly all night while trying to sleep (and eventually, sleeping!) After HFS went down the tubes, I tried my own version, with an itunes playlist. I still wish I had the Henry Rollins version of Twas the Night Before Christmas, and a song called “Mamacita (Donde Esta Santa Claus)” but most of the rest of my faves I have (and since the Colbert Christmas special a few years back, I have new faves in the mix too!) The Boy is a Christmas Eve baby, though, and not as ridiculously into the holiday as I am, so last year we did a low key celebration at his place, and will probably do a variation on that theme again this year.

On Christmas morning, we used to wait until 6 am before waking parents (or we did, when my brother and I were under the age of 18…well my brother. I kept waking up ridiculously early but would then fall asleep on the couch next to the tree waiting for everyone else to wake up or 8 am, whichever came first) and while the adults sloooooooowly get out of bed and yawn and find bathrobes, we look in our stockings. Then it’s time to destroy wrapping paper in a greedy, materialistic orgy of paper-death! Then breakfast, playing with new toys, and usually, napping. This year, much like last, there will be a trip to Mom and Dad’s. Last year I made sure to get there around 10 am, thinking “this is great, they’ll love sleeping in!” but Mom had been up since like 7 am because she does that all the time now, and she and dad had already opened their presents by the time I arrived. (I might have pouted a little. I like watching people open presents, and find out what the presents are!) This year, the Boy is joining me at Mom and Dad’s, and since he is a sleepyhead we’re planning to arrive post-lunch. But I will totally allow my parents to give me presents, which everyone will be graciously allowed to watch me open, and when we have dinner we will once again preface it with oplatki.

Since living on my own, I have my own tree, and I decide when it goes up, and I haven’t put popcorn strings on it since my first year with it. I never did cookies (because I was not a big fan of the gingerbread cookies we made, though I LOVED decorating them). This year I have a recipe I’m gonna try out, though, so maybe the cookies will live on. (I certainly have enough cookie cutters. I am a total cookie cutter nut. My mom has a huge collection, because of the gingerbread cookie tradition, and since my brother and his family have started their own collection, I hope to talk mom into letting at least some of them go to me. They don’t do cookies anymore, either, because it’s too much work. Which is another reason I never do them. BUT IT’S ALSO SO MUCH FUN OMG.)

Sometimes I’m sad I don’t do the old traditions. (As evidenced by my stringing popcorn that first year on my own, and probably by my deciding to do cookies this year, I guess.) Sometimes I wonder what my parents did (besides wait until Christmas freakin’ eve to put up the tree, because that is just madness) that they don’t anymore, but might like to do again, at least one more time. But mostly I think that we’ve evolved to make Christmas our own in a way that works for us. Instead of stressing out about making the cookies with a recipe that, when halved, yields the more than number of cookies it claims to yield without adjusting measurments, or stabbing ourselves in the finger over and over and over, or going crazy making perfect holiday meals. (Although I’m not totally over that, as The Boy can attest. But he helps me not get unreasonably angry when my meals do not turn out perfect!)

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Filed under arms workout, exercise, life in general, personal shit

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