It's that time of year when we start hanging the tinsel (does anyone hang tinsel anymore? Also, what is tinsel?) and start wondering whether our Aunt Edna will mind if we get her yet another book about birds.
We all have traditions we do around the holidays. It's one of the things that make the holidays great/bearable. When you're a kid, you have the get up real early and tear into your presents before your parents have even made coffee sort of traditions. As you get older and presents become less fun and slightly more stressful (will my girlfriend/wife/mistress/boss who is also my mistress like this bracelet?) and family drama overtakes holiday cheer, we cling to the simple traditions that make us look forward to the holidays/not want to strangle our relatives with mistletoe.
Perhaps you have some holiday traditions of your own, whether alone or with your significant other. Holiday traditions we have with our friends and special someones are just as important as those we have with family. Here are a few things that I look forward to every December. Please share yours in the comments.
1. Decorating with my girlfriend - We often do a small tree (city dwellers and all) and a holiday town scene. Every year we add a piece to the holiday town, like a winter cottage or a figurine of kids and a dog playing in the snow. We've added enough pieces that it's getting to be more of a holiday muncipality than a town. Pretty soon it'll be a holiday metropolis.
2. Christmas movies and TV shows - I'm a sucker for Christmas TV specials and movies. Every year my lady and I watch the following required holiday classics: Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Scrooged, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Muppet Christmas Carol, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Mickey's Christmas Carol, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original, not the Jim Carrey version) and The Year Without Santa Claus. Sometimes I'll throw something random in there like Ziggy's Gift, the sweet Ziggy TV special from the '80s that never fails to make me a bit misty-eyed.
3. Checking out window and house decorations - Since we live in the Big Apple there are plenty of famous holiday landmarks to hit -- the store windows on 5th Avenue, the 30 Rock tree. But I also like seeing the annual decorations in our neighborhood and hitting the lesser known spots like Rolf's, the German bar that goes all out on the holiday decorations.
4. Exchanging gifts early - While we exchange gifts with our families on Xmas Day, we like to have our own Christmas beforehand. Nothing beats two Christmases! (It's a lot better than that movie Four Christmases.)
5. Nice New Year's Eve dinner - Whether it's a wild, raucous NYE spent at parties or a low-key one we spend marathon-ing Homeland, we always make sure to go somewhere nice for dinner or make a special dinner at home just the two of us to ring in the New Year right.
What about you? What are your special traditions you look forward to every December?