With Christmas approaching way faster than I want to think about, I was thinking about holiday traditions. Most of us have them, those things that just make the holiday seem real for us. I’ve given up a lot of the ones I had as a kid, or when my kids were young. Some were pretty normal, but we tend towards the odd and unique here, so there were some that no one else I know does. There are the rice people we got from a baby sitter in Denmark, little pipe cleaner people that got set up on December 1st. There was a little walnut shell cup that held a grain of rice for each one for every day until Christmas. Each night a portion of the rice would disappear, until it was all gone on Christmas morning. I remember being so mystified by that as a little kid.
When my kiddos were little, we celebrated Christmas and Hannakah. No, not the tiniest bit Jewish. But it was fun introducing them to different ideas, and who doesn’t love latkes? And we would make about a ton of cookies. The one that was imperative was Mexican Wedding Cakes. I also got several cookie guns at thrift stores so that everyone could have their own for making Spritz cookies, and tinted the dough different colors for each one. Every year we all got a new ornament for the tree, a tradition started by my mom for me.
My favorite has to be Christmas Eve dinner. We lived in Paris for 4 years when I was young, and the first year there my folks made the mistake of asking me and my sister what we wanted for Christmas Eve dinner. Being from Southern California, and having not been back to the U.S. for quite some time, we chose tacos. Probably not a big problem now, but way back then the px was not an option if you were not in the military (we were not). Somehow my dad managed to get a can of tortillas and some enchilada sauce, and we got what we had asked for. Somehow that idea stuck, and we still do it 40+ years later. One of my favorite memories of my sweetie’s dad was the first Christmas we were going to spend with him and his wife. I had made peace with the idea that I was going to have to forgo my tacos. The kids and SigOt went over the day before me, but I had to work that morning, so I ended up walking in the door about 4pm. His dad met me at the door, and asked if I would mind cooking. He had gone to the store all by himself and bought everything he thought I would need to make tacos for dinner. The kids admitted mentioning it, but he had made the decision all on his own, and I am still touched by his thoughfulness.
Now for the giveaway: In honor of the holidays (and http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/2011/11/giveaway-day-december-12/), I am going to give away your choice of either a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn or two 2-ounce batts. I will pick at random from the comments to this post. Just leave a comment before December 16th at 8 pm PST of what your favorite holiday tradition is, and which one of the following you want to win. Fine print: you have to live in the U.S. (sorry, no international shipping). I’ll post the winner on December 18th. Here are the choices:
Batts first. Each batt is 2 ounces. If you pick this you will get 2 batts (so a total of 4 ounces). All of these were done on my Patrick Green carder.
First up is “Dying Embers”, superwash.
Next is “Tropical Waters”, also superwash.
Then we have “Fire & Ice”, a blend of Romney cross wool and hand dyed mohair.
And last but not least, we have “Stormy Waters”, again a Romney/hand dyed mohair blend
Now for the sock yarn choices. Each of these skeins is 4 ounces, 400+ yards, so plenty for a pair of socks.
First up is “Peacock Feathers”, a blend of blues and purples.
Second is “Autumn Leaves, a mixture of yellows, oranges and brown, with a hint of green.
Third is “Strawberry Fields”, red, white and green.
Fourth we have “Very Berry”, a mixture of pinks.
And finally, we have “Victorian Christmas”, which is burgandy, gold, and pine green.
If you don’t win and see something you don’t think you can live without, check out my Etsy shop (link on the right). And who knows, I may get a wild hair and more than one of you may get lucky…
ETA – Wow, I am overwhelmed by all the nice comments, and I love all the cool traditions you all have. Hopefully one or two of you will come back and visit from time to time, and I sure wouldn’t object if you wanted to get something from my Etsy store.
I couldn’t stand the suspense anymore, so I went ahead and pulled winners numbers tonite. Because of the number of responses I got, I picked two people instead of one, and they have both been e-mailed. So, without further to-do, I give you my winners:
Becca, “Tropical Waters would be my choice I think. Hard to choose, all so beautiful! My fav tradition is the jammie present on Xmas eve, little ones in new comfy jammies, who can resist!”
and ElfRenee, “My favorite tradition is decorating the tree! And I love the Victorian Christmas yarn!!”