Growing up in South Florida made it pretty difficult to get into the “Christmas Spirit” although I still loved Christmas. I looked forward to the season every year and often wished that it would snow, just once, on Christmas Eve. I didn’t have my first white Christmas until I was 21, when I moved to New York. It was magical and all, but I was living in the dorms and therefore Christmas decorations were kept to a minimum.
When I moved to Connecticut was the first time I experienced snow during the holidays as well as epic decorations through out the house. My step dad would put lights up outside the house, we had a huge Christmas tree that sat in our living room from the week after Thanksgiving until the day after New Years and my mom and I would bake cookies and apple pies. It was wonderful. But I never thought I would want to literally vomit Christmas Spirit as badly as I do now that I have a family of my own.
When Adam and I first got together, the most we would do to get into the Christmas Spirit was put up a small tree (the only size we could fit in our one bedroom apartment at the time), exchange gifts and maybe watch one or two Christmas movies. The following year, we did the same and I added making “Bear Waffles” on Christmas morning into the mix. Our third Christmas together (last year), I was pregnant with our son and had already started wondering what Christmas would be like with our child with us. It was exciting, but the following morning, our tradition of Bear waffles and Christmas movies continued as usual but I made no effort to add to our tradition.
Now that we’re in the Midwest, with a house of our own, a nine month old and family close by, I feel this urge to cover our home (inside and out) in Christmas decorations. I have this beautiful image in my head of Adam and AJ standing outside, Adam squinting slightly as he tries to visualize hundreds of Christmas lights on our house, deciding where he should start. AJ rolling his eyes and lazily swinging his arms from side to side as he wonders how long dad is going to keep him outside in the cold. I know that this is a fantasy that has little chance of happening, mostly because Adam isn’t very enthusiastic when it comes to the holidays. He works in retail, so I tend to give him a pass on this.
Maybe when AJ gets older, he’ll change his mind when it comes to Christmas decor and I certainly hope so. Because now that we reside in this town (where we will likely reside for the rest of our lives), I have a need to build stronger family traditions. Especially since now we have a family of our own. I dream of one day stepping outside to tell my husband and our son that dinner is almost ready while hoping my announcement won’t startle either of them into falling from the roof where they’re hanging twenty thousand twinkle lights. To hear Adam yell in rejoice as he calls his family outside to see his masterpiece. To stand in our living room with the lights off as we stare at our decorated Christmas tree while listening to Elvis Presley sing Christmas classics.
To stand in front of our illuminated home, as a family, and relish in the Christmas cheer. I know it sounds pretty ridiculous and it certainly isn’t what Christmas is all about. However what Christmas is about is family, tradition, love and peace. As a mom, these are the things I strive for.
And so even though being like the Griswolds mostly happens in the movies and even though Adam isn’t a “Christmas Cheer” kind of guy, I believe that building our family’s traditions are important. So I’ll keep trying, I’ll keep adding traditions. I will strive for Griswoldism forever.
What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions?