I’m a sucker for nostalgia. I love looking at the past through the lens of a Super 8 and letting it’s rose colored celluloid wrap me in a blanket of warm fuzzies. Nothing says nostalgia like The Holidays. Growing up, holidays were no small affair. I come from a long line of holiday enthusiasts on both my mom’s and dad’s sides of the family, and both know how to do it right, especially Christmas. There’s always plenty of food, games of every kind, delightful conversation (yes, I did just use the word delightful), and, depending on which state we happen to be in, a little alcohol induced free entertainment.
With The Holidays come many family traditions. Growing up, and even to this day, a number of my family’s traditions revolved around waffles. We had waffles on Valentines Day, we had waffles the day we trimmed the tree, we had waffles on Christmas eve before the service. This probably has something to do with our family not being in the economic upper crust when I was a kid. But that’s one of the things that makes traditions fun. That’s why they’re my family traditions. Who else eats waffles on Valentines Day?
On Thanksgiving eve dad would make the famous Tom & Jerry batter and we’d watch Miracle on 34th Street. Last year for Christmas my parents got Jen and I the exact kind of bowl and cups that we always used, which are a family heirloom. And I finally have come of age to learn the secrets of the Tom & Jerry. Dad instructed me on the finer points of concocting this sugary delight (yes, I used delight again. Must be the holidays.). We shared the tradition this year with J Crew and his wife and in-laws, and they seemed to enjoy it. (If you’re wondering what Tom and Jerry is, it’s basically eggs and sugar whipped up into a rich, thick froth. J Crew described it as “like drinking cake.” This is probably the best possible description.) A new tradition for Bauer Family Part Deux (Me, Jen, and Jackson) is to go out with friends the Saturday after Thanksgiving to get our Christmas tree.
Traditionally, Christmas is the most traditional holiday, if that makes sense. On Christmas Eve we always open one gift to tide us over. We watch the same Christmas movies year after year. We play the same CD’s year after year. Despite the rampant commercailism and TV talking heads screaming about Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays, Christmas to me is still a Norman Rockwell painting or a 1950’s Super 8 movie of kids in pj’s by the fireplace opening their presents. I still get excited on Christmas Eve, and even though I am the antithesis of a morning person, I’m up at six and elbow deep into my stocking. It’s about family and Bing Crosby and little pig soufle. It’s about White Christmas and the Wells Fargo commercial when the stagecoach brings the Christmas tree to town (which they don’t air anymore) and Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! But most of all it’s about Linus’ monologue.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping
watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came
upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were
sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For
unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ
the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there
was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and
saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will
Traditions are good and Christmas is a time for fun, but we can never lost sight of what it’s all really about.
What are your traditions? For Christmas or other holidays. And what’s your favorite Christmas commercial? Mine is, or was, the aforementioned Wells Fargo ad. My parents used to call me into the room when it came on I liked it so much. Alas, I havn’t seen it in years and can’t find it on the Internet. [sigh]