We celebrate Christmas at our house. On Christmas Eve, we make Stone Soup and read a version of that folktale. Afterwards, we go to our church – a small United Church of Christ – for a traditional candlelight service.

This year, I played the flute during the service. I started playing flute when I was very young and started playing the French horn a few years later. I stopped playing horn when I smashed my teeth out in a car accident (wear your seat belt!). I still think of myself as a French horn player even though that hasn’t been true for decades. However, thanks to our church’s music director, for the first time in ages I get to feel like a musician again. It’s good.

Anyway, we drive around after the service and look at Christmas lights. When we get home, our sons get to open two gifts. One gift is always a new pair of pajamas, a tradition we stole from one of Darth’s cousins. The other gift is selected by the son, but Darth & I get veto power to avoid late-night Lego sessions.

On Christmas day, we see what Santa brought. We open gifts and hunker down with each other. We play new video games, watch new movies, read new books, and build new Lego kits. We eat candy for breakfast and smoked salmon, crackers, and veggies for lunch. We have a standard family dinner that night and light a small candle-powered carousel handed down through my husband’s family.

I love this tradition.

What holidays do you celebrate in winter? What traditions do you have that you love?


Note: My husband’s name is not really Darth, and my sons are not really named 1,2, and 3.




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