Do you have any Christmas or holiday traditions?

Q&A With Shay Each Sunday

And now since Christmas is right upon us, let’s talk about the holidays. This picture was our Christmas card this year. Our first Christmas with little (giant) Bernabe Lincoln aka “Bernie.”

Q: Do you have any Christmas or holiday traditions?

A: Not anymore:( I’ve actually been feeling pretty sad about Christmas this year. This is the first year in my whole life that I won’t be home in NY for Christmas. My boyfriend, Pat is a firefighter and we live in Columbia, SC now and he usually has to work on major holidays or else very close to those holidays, making travel hard. We just spent ten days in NY for my birthday and an early Xmas, but it’s still sad not to be there for actual Christmas, the warmest coziest holiday where everyone thinks of “HOME.”

I used to have a lot of traditions, not so much with my family (though there were a few) but more with my best friend’s family growing up. We would go to Christmas Mass every Christmas Eve, which is really funny because I’m not Catholic. We would follow that up with dinner at the Hampton Bays Diner (which has since shut down! Why does everything change?!)

When my friend and I were really young her mom used to bake all these Christmas cookies and hide them somewhere in the house so that no one would eat them before Christmas. I have now realized this is also kind of funny and strange, because wouldn’t they start to go stale? But naturally it became a scavenger hunt of sorts every year to find the cookies. My friend and I would case the house looking for that jar, which we always found, and really it was more about the hunt than the actual enjoyment of the cookies.

Since getting older I have the tradition of baking my own Christmas cookies. I usually do a few different kinds, the main event being peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies. Those will be the only ones I’m baking this year because weight loss has not been on my side! Is it on anyone’s side during the holidays? But I always like doing cute themed baked goods like the cookies that look like reindeer, then one year I did Santa hat brownies, and I usually do the frosted shape cookies.

My mom would make lasagna every year on Christmas, usually for just our family of four. Most of our other relatives live far away and we haven’t really ever had big gatherings on the holidays. So most times on Christmas day we’d do presents in the morning (while drinking tea of course!—coffee once I hit about fifteen) then we’d lounge around in our pajamas watching Christmas movies (though that might’ve been just me), eating cookies, and trying out the new gifts, before lasagna in the evening. I’d sometimes go over to my best friend’s family during the day or they’d come over in the evening, but we never had hardcore Christmases like some families seem to. And of course, a lot changes once we get older and new people are added to the mix (i.e.: significant others). It’s definitely difficult not to attach expectations and stress to this time of the year when everything seems to be heightened with those feelings.

Since we celebrated Christmas early this year, I’ve pretty much been finished with all my shopping since Cyber Monday though! I really enjoy picking out gifts for people. It’s a great way to be both thoughtful and creative. I’ve never been huge on sticking to Christmas lists, though I do feel obligated sometimes—also kind of funny. If you haven’t heard of it, I highly suggest the website Society 6 for gifts (and yourself). It’s the coolest artsiest site and you can find pretty much any type of art on any theme. I always get at least a few things from there during Christmas, for others and myself, and also throughout the whole year honestly.

Anyway, I’m ready to bake some more cookies, watch Elf and A Christmas Story, and try to not feel so much pressure about all the things I “should” be doing. I hope everyone has an awesome holiday and I’d love to hear about your traditions if you’d like to share! I think I’ll work on starting some new ones.

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Shay SiegelComment