Thursday, November 19, 2009

gratitude: day 19

today i'm grateful for traditions. and today, mostly christmas traditions.

ryan bans all-things-christmas until the day after thanksgiving. i'm a firm believer that thanksgiving is only enhanced by the upcoming christmas holidays. in fact, i feel thanksgiving, christmas and the new year should just be one big fat holiday. love them all. love them.

yesterday christmas music was on the radio. i now officially declare myself UNbanned from listening to it. if you're wondering, i also declare YOU unbanned. let the traditions begin!!

i love the music during this time of year. i spent two years in high school rehearsing holiday music for months and performing multiple times each day in december. and i miss it. i've played sleigh ride as a piano duet with my mom every single year since i was 14 years old. i won't do that this i'm making one of my piano students learn it so i can get my fill. i love the radio stations playing non-stop seasonal music {except when they play what we've dubbed "cheesy christmas song," right, meg? barf.}.

it's more than just the music, though. i love all the traditions each year that remind us of years past. of good times with family. memories with friends. good times. bad times. struggles. celebrations.

i love the little things. tangible things. like the stuffed cloth nativity my mom made. i love our denim stockings...with a pocked in back for life savers {or gum...thanks, dr. hauley}...and i love that i've now made some for my own little family. i love the lights...on trees and houses. glitter-clad popsicle stick ornaments. gifts under the tree. nutcrackers standing guard on the piano. the advent calendar made of incredible '70's-era fabric i inherited from my mom. christmas cards arriving daily in the mail {hint, hint...if you need my address, let me know!}.

i love the snow. i miss the snow. i know in a few months most everyone in and around snow will be sick of it. they'll be sore from shoveling. tired of the slow traffic. shivering from the cold. but i miss it. i miss the cozy nights under a blanket with the fire going. i miss the magical nights as it slowly drifts down. the quiet, early morning runs wearing sweatshirts and gloves. the snowmen.

i love the smells. cinnamon. nutmeg. pine trees. peppermint.

i love the food. pies. treats. turkey. mashed potatoes. ham. cheese balls. wassail. mmm....wassail. ryan and i decided we're starting a new tradition this year to make scones on christmas morning. yum, right? we're excited.

i love my own family's traditions. 'twas the night before christmas read to us the night before christmas. a delicious meal and a heartfelt story gathered around close family. new {sometimes matching} jammies. opening one gift the night before christmas and then taking turns on christmas morning...and i love that my siblings hated me for going so slow. but i love going slow. i love taking my time to unwrap and enjoy the traditions.

i love ryan's family's traditions. thanksgiving dinner with cousins, aunts and uncles. guessing how many football games you'll see on the side of the road on the way to dinner. a yummy, yummy meal the night before christmas. walking through temple square on christmas night to see all the glittering lights. an hilarious new year's eve celebration complete with games, food and costumes.

i love that we can create our own traditions - find things that work for us. being away from family for now three holidays has been interesting. we've missed all the things so familiar from our childhoods, but we've been able to spend time with good friends who are experiences holidays away for the first time as well. i'm giddy for thanksgiving next week with the mcphies. three years running. i love letting leah sit on santa's lap...even if she thinks he's crazy.

i love traditions. and i love hearing about others' favorite traditions. do tell!


Rach said...

I want to be just like you Maren! You are so amazing.

I love having taco soup on christmas eve (the hot mamas recipe this year!). I love turning off all the lights each night and sitting by the tree for family prayer. I love getting doughnuts and hot chocolate and walking up and down streets with lots of lights. I love the polar express (I even dreamed a few nights ago that I got to go on it!)

I mostly love that our traditions now include you and your beautiful, wonderful family! Thanksgiving, here we come!

Molly said...

And I love reading your blog. Seriously--I do.

Morgan said...

i love holiday traditions so much too. they make me happier than i could ever describe. such a great post. you have inspired me to turn on some christmas music and record my own holiday traditions that i love and why i love them.

Launi said...

love this whole post, maren! gets me in the mood for christmas even more than i was!

i love all the memories attached to the decorations. when we pull them out each year, we remember so many things from christmases past! i've told my mom that's all i want when she passes on---her christmas decorations! :)

Julia said...

you're making me melt. yay for the holidays. i'm going home TODAY after work and listening to "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful" sung by our MoTab.

Nathan and Whitney said...

I love this time of year too! And you just made me even MORE excited! I, like you, think that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and one big holiday. I love listening to Christmas music early and getting in the mood for the holiday season. I started last week :)

megan said...

Yes, I already got my Christmas piano music out. Okay, I got it out around Halloween and have been playing it since then. Don't tell Ryan.