I’m Not Making Any Cookies This Year!

When it comes to the Christmas season, parents beware! Anything your family does (and enjoys!) during the holiday season  can become an instant tradition. I’ve experienced this phenomenon many times and have learned to be wary—it can be anything from the number of cookie varieties baked (approaching an infinite number), must-see holiday movies, where and when the family Christmas picture is snapped, what one expects under the tree (and where said tree will be located), when it’s ok to start playing Christmas music, any (and all) food associated with the season – I could go on and on!

While I’ve been trying to pare back my own responsibilities a little bit, there are some traditional experiences I would not want to miss out on during Christmas time.

Here are some of my favorites—feel free to share some of yours!

Let’s see—there’s the scent of paperwhite Narcissus,

the sound of Vince Guaraldi’s “Charlie Brown’s Christmas”, talented musicians warming up the church before the children’s Mass on Christmas Eve, happy laughter while sharing the opening of gifts with the family, the aroma and taste of delicious seafood chowder for Christmas Eve supper (lobster, scallops, shrimp, etc.), listening to the Nine Lessons and Carols on the radio live from King’s College, Cambridge on the morning of Christmas Eve (always while trying to finish up some last minute knitting or sewing project), and probably my favorite moment of all—the reading of Dylan Thomas’, A Child’s Christmas in Wales.

The feel of this has not changed, though most of the small children that used to listen are now young adults—we all gather in the living room, with a fire in the wood stove, the tree lights glowing, everyone full of chowder, and settle down in the quiet with most of the bustle behind us. John reads and we all listen, including the dogs—interrupting is frowned on, but every now and then someone will recite along from memory, under their breath, a favorite passage or two.

As I read over what I wrote, I realized I left out all mention of presents—even knitted ones!

And I kept thinking of other things I love about this season, but I’m stopping here—now it’s your chance to share your favorite traditions with us!


  1. emily p says:

    my favorite christmas tradition is Papa reading child’s christmas in wales while we go into a sugar coma from the needhams

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