Sunday, December 21, 2003

Raising a Christmas Traditionalist

To our surprise, Ron and I are raising a strict Christmas traditionalist. No offbeat, post-modern approach to the holidays for this 12 year old. Yesterday, after her annual Saturday-before-Christmas cookie baking marathon (peppermint chocolate chip meringues, sugared ginger snaps and cookie-cutter butter cookies), she insisted that the three of us sit together with fireplace ablaze to watch the movie "It's a Wonderful Life."

She eagerly anticipates the start of the holiday season, which is marked by her and Ron putting Christmas lights on our house, usually over Thanksgiving weekend. She selects just the right Christmas tree for our family every year, and Ron may not put lights on the tree without her, either This year, she wanted to put ALL the ornaments on the tree. Radio Christmas music plays continually in her bedroom or the family room. And for the first time this year, she made origami ornaments for a small second tree in our living room.

Tonight we're going to a caroling and cookie party given by dear friends. Her next few days will be filled with shopping, present wrapping, and visiting with her older sister and new brother-in-law. On Christmas Eve, she and I will take festive homemade fudge to various neighbors. We will attend evening Christmas Eve church services, followed by an hour's drive to look at Christmas lights. Christmas Day will be a potpourri of family, gifts, fudge, picture-taking, dinner and lots of love.

She will never want a Hawaiian vacation over Christmas. She will never opt for Christmas Day skiing and a hillside picnic. She will never spend Christmas Day without family.

And Ron and I wouldn't have her any other way.

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