Each year I find myself looking back at the traditions I had as a kid during the holidays. What exactly makes this season so great? Like most great experiences, it's actually little things that add up to something special. It's the music, the cold weather, the family coming together, and the smell of a pine tree in the living room. Here's a look at a few holiday traditions everyone should embrace.
1. Christmas movies. My Netflix has exploded with Christmas classics. We watch some every year without fail, and I can quote them verbatim.
- It's a Wonderful Life - Anything with that old-timey b&w look is automatically a classic. I have watched this movie every year for the past 25 at least. Also, Clarence getting his wings is a pretty satisfying end to the story.
- Home Alone - It's a childhood nightmare/dream to be left alone. No bedtime, no chores, but also no food and plenty of mishaps. This movie has so many one-liners and classic moments we still find myself fully watching it every year. The lost in New York sequel has my all-time favorite scene in it, bricks smacking the idiot. Hilarious.
- A Christmas Story - I almost shot my own eye out years ago with a bb gun, and my mouth has been washed out with soap for the exact same reason. I never had bottle-cap glasses, but this story I get.
- Christmas Vacation - Clark and his stupid antics let me put my stressful holiday issues in perspective. As long as I don't have a feline-related fire, or a septic explosion, there's nothing happening that a bit of Irish eggnog won't fix.
2. Pumpkin related excellence - Even though Thanksgiving is behind us, there's no reason pumpkin and spices has to be left out. Food is a huge part of family get-togethers and this Pumpkin Roll is a huge part of it. Try out Pumpkin Biscottis and Pumpkin Scones to really get into the sugar/carb coma of Christmas. This is what Christmas tastes like to me.
3. Light Gawking - Like Clark Griswold, there are plenty of people around you that go all out with the Christmas decorations. When I say all out, I mean more lights than a Times Square New Years, and an electrical bill that rivals Canada's GDP. Don't let the display go to waste, grab a hot cuppa Joe, a candy cane, tune in the radio, and make the rounds.
4. Something New - There's always room for some new memories. Look around for a new opportunity to experience the season. Last year, we went ice skating for the first time, before that we headed into the woods to cut down the Christmas tree ourselves. This year embrace something new and figure out a way to keep the magic alive this Christmas season.
What holiday traditions make this a time of year worth enjoying for you? We love to hear how others make it merry.