Today's Ten on Tuesday fits in well with the recent theme on the blog. It's 10 Favorite Holiday Traditions. I couldn't decide what importance to put on each item, so I listed them in order of when they occur...
1. Buying / Making Christmas Gifts
There's something great about thinking about all of your loved ones and trying to decide what you could give them that they will really appreciate. It is taboo to randomly buy gifts throughout the year, so you have only two chances to get this right - Christmas and their Birthdays. While I know that not everyone shares this sentiment, I thrill from the hunt. Nothing beats watching their faces either, to see whether or not you have been successful.
2. Being "Santa"
Gilles and I started a tradition last year, where we put on our Santa hats and go to each of of friends' houses in the city to give them their Christmas gifts. It is a lot of fun, and we enjoy surprising people.
3. Visiting family
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without family. We typically have four celebrations to attend - first, Gilles' immediate family, who celebrates whenever it suits everyone. (November? January? - usually November or early December). Second, either my dad's side of the family, or his mom's side of his family - this switches back and forth every year. Third, my mom's side of our family, then finally, either his dad's side of his family or his cousin in Winnipeg.
4. Christmas Supper
Christmas supper is always great - The food is delicious and it is so much fun fitting everyone around the giant "table" (We put two fully extended tables together to fit everyone). The food and wine are passed and stories are told... fun :)
5. Playing Board Games
Playing board games is one of my favorite ways to spend time in large groups of people. I'm not a fan of exercise (ha!) and I get bored easily watching tv, but you'll find me at the game table all night, parked with my (magically refilling) glass of wine, and shouting and singing, whatever mood may strike.
6. Midnight Mass
Being from a small Catholic town, one of the traditions is Midnight Mass. We get to the church at 11:30PM to listen to Christmas Carols until mass starts, and then attend mass from 12AM-1:30AM. Ironically, this is the best attended mass of the year.
7. Midnight Lunch
After Midnight Mass, we all congregate back at my Memere's house (Dad's mom). We then dig out all of the leftovers from supper, and have another big meal (no losing weight over Christmas here!). The meal is rather rushed, in anticipation for the next part of the evening...
8. Gift Opening Hullabaloo
Thirty or so people opening gifts from each other can be a bit of a hullabaloo, no question. There is usually a pile of gifts in the middle of the room about 6 feet square by 4 feet high. Everyone sits around the gifts, while two people are tasked with handing them all out - a feat that can be more than a little challenging, as you precariously pile gifts and step around others.
9. Singing Christmas Carols
Over at my mom's side, we spend a good couple hours showing off our talents and then read the Christmas story, then sing Christmas Carols before opening gifts. I love hearing all the different voices of the family singing together.
10. Spending Quality Time with Loved Ones
While it may seem that I already covered this under "Visiting Family", I'm speaking about something different. I'm talking about that time that the dog ran away with the turkey, and the time your cousin fell backwards off his chair (fictional events)... but you get my gist. It's about the time spent together, quality time. Memories.
I love Christmas.