Every year it's the same. We decorate the weekend following Thanksgiving. We take sappy family pictures by the tree with the Christmas goat. (The goat is actually the world's ugliest reindeer given to us 100 years ago by my dearest friend, Claire. The goat is worn and gets its own entrance music.) Anyway, the ornaments get hung and and some get thrown out. I place the tree topper on the top of the tree and my husband, Russell, and I hang our "First Christmas" ornament together. Other ornaments are found and hung but all traffic comes to a screeching halt when the "special" ornaments are found. You know the ones. The ones your children made or your grandmother painted when you were small or your mother made. The ornaments you collected from places you traveled. The ornaments you made from salt dough and painted when you were just starting out as a couple and were too poor to afford store bought ornaments. (We have only one salt ornament left from those days because our Italian Grey Hound, Mariposa, feasted on our entire collection one Christmas!)
Our tree has seen many revelations too. Russell's and my favorite trees were the ones decorated solely by our girls when they were little. The tree would be completely bald save for the areas they could reach. Most of the ornaments ended up in the front, lower third of the tree and it was beautiful! It's a miracle the tree never tipped over! As the children grew, so did the height and placement of the ornaments. Russ and I never moved a single ornament, ever. My mother came to visit and was appalled at our tree. Given her perfectionist nature, she thought "Santa" should disperse the ornaments but Santa appreciated excellent decorating technique when he saw it. Now my mother looks back fondly on the Grube Family Christmas trees and gets nostalgic for those times as we do.
All across the world, these warming traditions are happening. Warming traditions remind me of the days when there were only a few television networks. Remember those days? ALL the country watched the Lawrence Welk Show, then Wild Kingdom and then The Wonderful World of Walt Disney every Sunday. We suffered through the commercials and everything. Our family (along with most families) gathered about the television, shared fruit my father would slice and cuddled in close to each other. This was our family Sunday tradition. It seems so simple but simple is highly underrated I think. Simple should be channeled and relished. Simple is really not all that simple...
Please share your "simple" warming traditions in the comments section.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor