I am already loving this writing challenge...Rachel, you know me so well!! #feelingfestive
Day Two: Favorite Holiday Traditions
No matter what craziness has ensued with my family in the past 33 years, no matter where I've lived, who I've lived with, who I've been dating, or where I have celebrated the holiday, one tradition is an absolute must: after Thanksgiving dinner, I pour myself a glass of wine, make popcorn, and watch Home Alone.
It's. My. Favorite.
I love coming home from the family madness, where everyone is loud and the festivities are crazy, to my own quiet corner of the world, curling up and starting the movie. If I am setting up a tree, I tend to do it while watching the movie...but I also don't often get a tree.
This year, I boycotted Thanksgiving (for reasons not worth mentioning). Instead, I took 6 days off work, and I went to the beach, where I watched all of my favorite Christmas movies, ate Grandma Stacey's famous teriyaki chicken wings & asparagus for dinner, and drank at least a bottle of wine each day while reading books in front of the fireplace. It was perfect.
Stacey and Blake joined me on Friday afternoon, and after we spent the day adventuring around, "Black Friday" shopping in Cloverdale's antique mall, and eating a spaghetti dinner, we introduced Blake to the awesomeness that is Kevin McAllister in Home Alone.
We made popcorn (and Stacey spilled it).
We made margaritas (and virgin ones for Blake, the salted rim addict).
We turned on the fire (mostly for the cat).
We turned off the lights and snuggled up in our jammies.
And we watched Home Alone.
Blake thought the bad guys were a riot, and watching him watch their antics was pretty entertaining. And while it was not the quiet, peaceful viewing of my favorite movie that I traditionally take in, it was probably my favorite ever.
This year, I had initially been feeling pretty gloomy about spending the Thanksgiving holiday alone. I mean, better alone than with the company I would have had, but still...who wants to be all alone on Thanksgiving?? I didn't have any traditional food - like I said, I had chicken and veggies - nor did I talk to anyone in my family, get dressed up for dinner (didn't even get out of my jammies, in fact), and didn't do any real Black Friday shopping. It potentially could have been a real downer, right?
In the end, though, I loved every minute of it, and could definitely make a solo beach weekend a new Thanksgiving tradition - so long as Stacey and Blake join me for part of it!
What it boils down to, after several years of discussing this in therapy, is that I don't have to go along with every holiday tradition my family has, nor do I have to feel bad about missing them. I need to create my own traditions in order to feel festive and to enjoy the holidays, and they don't have to be big huge events either. I can be (and am) happy just snuggling up with my favorite wine and favorite movies, drinking mimosas and eating bacon & eggs with my mom and dad, and wearing Santa socks & a goofy Christmas tee shirt. It's simply about what makes me happy during the holiday madness.
And what made me happy this year, was sharing my Thanksgiving tradition with my cousin and my favorite little guy.