Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Traditions and Missing Home

It's funny - I say "missing home" but I've lived on this side of the country for slightly over six years now.  You'd think I'd stop referring to San Diego as home but the truth is that it will always be my hometown.

Christmas is less than a week away and I've had the hardest time getting into a holiday groove this year.  I've tried, don't get me wrong, but somehow it just hasn't felt right.  That got me thinking about Christmas traditions and I realized something:   I don't think I (we) have established any yet.  I think we're trying to start some but maybe our family is still new.  As we creep closer and closer to the big day, I am excited to see Christmas throught my son's eyes.  I'm also determined to start some new - and maybe recreate some old - traditions.

I remember....

As a child I was always allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve.  It was always some sort of pajamas.  I loved it.

Up until the time my mom became ill with cancer our family attended a Christmas party on Christmas eve at a friend's house.  I played pool with a little boy my age.  I always thought I was good.  Now I wonder.

The day after Thanksgiving, we'd get up super early, go to breakfast and tag our Christmas tree at Denk's Tree Farm.  (We'd pick the tree up a couple weeks later.)  When we got home, it was time to pull out the many boxes of Christmas decorations and get the lights up.  I even decorated my room.  We had lights everywhere.  Not quite Griswaldesque but definitely a lot of lights.

For many years we went to Christmas on the Prado.  They've since changed the name but I loved watching the Living Christmas Tree and drinking hot chocolate.  I loved it when it was cold and I (not so secretly) always wished for snow. 

I skated in at least two Christmas ice shows ever year.  Later I would coach skaters for the Christmas show.  I miss that.

Speaking of skating - I remember being on the ice before the crack of dawn, tracing my figures on the smooth ice, and hearing the mall staff (did I mention my home rink was in a shopping mall?) setting up the giant Christmas displays.  I'd get excited.

I remember La Jolla Figure Skating Club Christmas parties on ice... where else can  you party at 6am ON ICE?

I remember the La Jolla Christmas Parade, the Parade of Lights on San Diego Bay, and Candy Cane Lane

I hope...

That my son will look forward to his yearly pajama present on Christmas Eve

That we will continue the family trip to the tree farm.

That we will find new traditions, make them ours, and that our children will look back fondly on them as they begin new traditions with their own families.

Merry Christmas!