In my house, the holidays are about traditions—family, food, and especially decorating. To me, the Christmas season begins when a certain items appear. On Thanksgiving day, I bring out a wooden nativity that spins. My mother started the tradition when I was growing up, and it took me 10 years to find one so I could continue the practice.
Tradition 2, is the setting up of the Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That first night, we simply hang the lights on it. No ornaments, just twinkling lights. There's magic in Christmas lights.
Tradition 3 is the displaying of my Department 56 ceramic villages. I started collecting them when why children were young and I add a piece every year. My son is really good about helping me as the collection is rather, em, large.
Tradition four takes place on the Sunday or Saturday following Thanksgiving. It's putting up the rest of the decorations from hanging the outside lights, to finishing the interior decorations, including the musical stuffed animals, santas, christmas trees and my Hallmark holiday collections. The children traditionally decorate the tree, so now that they're adults we wait until they are home together. As the ornaments come out, we share memories and I take pictures. One thing we did while they were young was to buy ornaments each year, so that when they move out, they would have memories and decorations to take with them. This will probably be the last year my oldest will live with us, so the memories will be tinged with just a bit of sadness.
Lastly, in the weeks running up to Christmas are the baking season (or the drafting of cookie slaves). I bake a little from Halloween to Thanksgiving but my freezer eats them and so I have to start again. Over the years, we've added to the traditional sugar and gingerbread cookies, most noticeably those peanut butter blossoms and Nutella cookies. Yum.
Traditions are important. To be entered in a drawing for a electronic copy of either A Gift from St. Nick or The Christmas Ship, leave a comment about your family traditions.
In A Gift from St. Nick, the hero brings with him several Germanic tradition, one which is the celebration of St. Nicholas Day
Blurb: Hans Lubeck lost his birthright to a woman's deceitful games. Ten years later, he's on the cusp of fulfilling his dream of captaining his own ship. And another woman could jeopardize everything.
Schoolteacher Lenore Kerrigan devotes her time to her pupils and good works. She has no use for a man or the damage he could do to her reputation.
But this holiday season, fate and an island of matchmakers have other plans. Will they accept the gift of a lifetime, or will the past steal away any chance at happiness?