Families are weird, let’s face it. This is the time of year (the holiday season, in case you’re new to the world) when we spend a lot of (too much) time with the crazy people we are so fortunate enough to call “loved ones.” These said family gatherings typically consist of traditions that you partake in together every year around this time. As a child, some of my favorite memories are of Christmas Eves spent at my mom-mom and pop-pop’s house with all of my uncles, aunts and cousins. As the family grew up and my grandparents became older, that tradition went away, but we have many new ones that are just as special.
Traditions can be with family, one or two friends, or even with yourself. They can last for decades, or be something you enjoy for only a short while. These traditions, and the memories they create, turn into a beautiful mental time capsule of our lives.
As the big day gets closer and closer, Brit and I would like to share with you some of our most beloved Christmas traditions.
After all, ‘tis the season for nostalgia.
Tradition: Must watch Osbourne Christmas Special every year.
It started in college. While many people discover drugs, their personality, and each other at that stage of their lives, I found Sharon Osbourne. She was loud, colorful, British, and had no filter. She was everything I wanted to be. To be honest, I don’t really know why my freshman year (when the obsession was at its peak) roommate still talks to me. I would stay home on Friday (and Saturday) nights to read Sharon’s autobiographies. Actually, now that I think about it, how did I have any friends?
Anyway, that was the first year I watched the Osbourne Christmas Special. Too young to have watched The Osbournes when it originally aired, I discovered a plethora of clips and episodes on YouTube (such a beautiful thing). If you haven’t seen it, let me tell you, the Christmas special is pure mayhem, and it’s fabulous. Ozzy makes gravy, Kelly gets mad at the entire family, Sharon goes on a designer shopping spree, and Jack thinks it’s smart to walk around town with a rather large knife.
Whether I secretly wish that my family was a little more Osbourneesque or whatever the reason, I have made it a personal tradition to watch the Osbourne Christmas Special every year in December. It has become a tradition I very much look forward to, and yes—I have forced others to watch it with me—and they’ve all loved it.
Tradition: Santa came into my room while I slept. I was not okay with this.
My mother thought it was adorable. As a child, she would tell me that every Christmas Eve Santa would come into my room, leave chocolates on my bed, and give me a kiss on the head. Little did she know, the idea of Santa coming into my room, as I lay sleeping in my bed, terrified me.
Not that I didn’t trust Santa (an older, successful man who loves cookies…that’s my type), but the thoughts of anyone being that close to me without my knowledge disturbs me.
Throughout the night, I would wake up clutching my nanny (Raggedy Ann doll that I have had for twenty-three years) and lie perfectly still in case he was in my room at that very moment. It was always a rough night.
On Christmas morning, I would wake up and slither down to the bottom of my bed until my feet kicked the little box of Russell Stovers (Santa always left the good stuff). The feeling of that plastic-wrapped square box was a sign that it was safe, Santa had come and gone.
This is one tradition that I am happy to say is no more.
I know you meant well mom, and it’s safe to say I’ll never forget.
Tradition: On Christmas night, watch the movie that Santa brought me.
Everyone remembers that one magical family Christmas fight. This is the story of mine.
For the past maybe eight years, “Santa” has brought me a DVD which we (mom, dad, and I) watch on Christmas night. The first DVD Santa ever brought me was Mean Girls. It was the movie of the year, and my family had just discovered a brand new electronic device called a DVD player. Technology-savvy my family is not. Not until I was in 6th grade did we finally get a TV with a remote. That was in 2004…
So, it’s Christmas night and we cozy on up in front of the TV. Somehow I am given the job of setting up the movie. It goes well, except I have a bit of trouble figuring out how to fast forward through the previews. I swear, this particular DVD had more previews than any other I have ever seen. It was ridiculous. Tempers started to simmer as we waited 20 minutes for the DVD menu to appear. Finally, it did and I hit “play.”
You would think all would be good now that the movie had started. Wrong. The subtitles refused to go away. We must have restarted that movie at least 10 times, and still there they were. Since I couldn’t seem to figure out how to get rid of them, my parents attempted and failed miserably. No attempts were completed without us all yelling at each other and me putting blame on everything including, but not limited to, my cat.
Eventually, we gave up and watched the movie with subtitles. It wasn’t for another few months that we finally figured out how to make them go away.
Like I said, not technology-savvy in any way. I’m surprised I’m not writing this on a typewriter to be honest.