Every time I hear the word tradition, I instantly want to start signing the song from "Fiddler on the Roof". It's classic, seriously! And sometimes I see myself as a Jewish fat man from a little village trying to marry off several daughters. Okay no I don't, but I do like pretending to sing that in that giant bellowing voice shaking it around the living room.
I love that I can look back on my childhood and fondly remembering singing with my mom at the piano. My parents loved caroling with family so much that they handmade songbooks for family to follow along with. They were printed on that ghetto first printer we all had and bound by red sliders and have clear fronts. If you come to their house even today you can find them tucked away amongst the music. I remember that "Ode to Joy" was one of the first Christmas carols I taught myself to play out of my mom's giant book and it holds a special place in my heart.
I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking about going to midnight mass even though the last time I went was when my son was first born. I remember my mom and sometimes my grandma making me take a nap in the afternoon on Christmas Eve so I'd be awake for church later. We always went to midnight mass, it isn't until when I was older that I remember even knowing that there were other masses other than that!
Now that I'm all grown up with a family of my own, it's nice forming and finding traditions that work with who we are. I'd like to resurrect going to midnight mass, but I don't see that happening. Mostly because in December it's butt cold at midnight and even colder at 2 AM when you're leaving. I'm a baby when it comes to the cold. :) Plus it's been a rare occasion when we've been in a position TO go.
A tradition we've picked up is celebrating St Nick's Day. I don't recall doing it as a child, but it's something fun I want to keep doing for the kids. If nothing else than because I and my IL's like to buy presents for silly kids :)
A new tradition is that of the Lego Advent Calendar. My husband is such a little kid (come on, we brought up 8 1 gallon jugs filled with his old Lego's!) that it isn't just for the kids, it's kind of for him too. :D Plus they are really just cool and I think make a better prize than getting a candy a day.
I'm finally getting a nice stock of holiday goodies to decorate with. I know that when you first start out you have nothing and some people (like me) are desperate to have their house fully decorated in holiday garb. Just not going to happen unless you spend a small fortune that first year. But then it makes the collecting not so fun. Anyhow. I've been making some things at home, collecting things through homemade ornament exchanges (last year), buying things from local stores (lots of snowmen) and of course inheriting things from family! I'm pretty happy with my holiday collection now as it hasn't overtaken my house yet. But soon....or if we ever move into a bigger house that I will insist demands to be dolled up, that might be different. :)