Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is approaching, and I'm enjoying the Christmas carols on the radio. I am dreaming of a white Christmas, though it's highly unlikely we'll have one. We have rainy days for Christmas. This is the South. We do dream of a white Christmas each year, but it's more likely to be gray and rainy, or unseasonably warm. Once in a blue moon we have snow. There might be a dusting of snow on top of Fort Mountain or old Grassy. Those cobalt blue hills look lovely tipped in white. Our holiday is stress free, so far. That's because we no longer do the big gift exchange. We don't join the shopping-mall fray or worry about over-spending on credit cards. We had just been drawing names for many years, and doing optional stocking stuffers. Even that got to be a little much, when small gifts just became too expensive ~ or too generic. So, our family scaled back on the old spending several years ago. Most of the kids (and the kids' kids) are grown, and they don't need to be trying to keep up with the Joneses on who gave the most expensive gift. We swap simple ornaments now (Chinese auction style). We sing Christmas carols, some gospel, and even some classic rock and country songs. We also play a few silly word games ~ Christmas themed, of course: acronyms and puzzles. (I always get the most obscure or classical Christmas carols, and miss the easy ones, so they laugh at me!) And we have our big Christmas dinner: turkey or ham, cranberry salad, and my personal favorite, the 'green stuff.' (It's gelatin salad. My sister-in-law brings it and we all love it). We swap stories, and we just have a nice time hanging out with family. So I'm looking forward to the big get-together.

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