The holiday season is here and every tradition we have is being taken out of storage, hung, draped, bought, baked and displayed. Important things are done a certain way. In our home, our son goes with dad to chop down the Christmas tree and they head out for grilled cheeses and hot chocolate after.
I decorate the tree, along with the kids. We do all our decorating in one day. We have Christmas crackers, a tradition from Ireland and England, and eat things we don't normally eat during the year. Special things need to be kept for special times or else they wouldn't be special.
One thing I did a couple of weeks ago was buy mince pies, which are traditional European desserts made from dried fruits, candied cherries and cloves, covered in a delicious warm, buttery crust. We eat them with freshly whipped cream.
I'm not crazy about the filling of the pies but I bought them excitedly anyway, because they remind me of tradition. I can't wait to cook them even though they weren't a great favorite from my youth. They remind me of good times I had as a kid and sometimes good childhood memories can be hard to find.
I'm getting a traditional plum pudding and Irish Christmas cake this year -- yes, the fruit cake with the almond/marzipan and white icing -- the one everyone dreads that I like -- but only on Christmas! For some of us, it's more than the cake -- it's memories and stability and comfort. I'd never eat that cake any other time of year. But during the holidays, somehow it's delectable!
We put our decorations in the same place every year, it wouldn't look right if we switched stuff around. We love Christmas lights, candles and warm vanilla and apple-cinnamon plug-ins.
Log fires are a must, as is watching Home Alone, A Christmas Story and a few other classics. Not watching these movies would be tantamount to a crime, as far as my children are concerned.
As adults, we host a Christmas party every year, where everyone gathers in our home for food and wine and the fun is non-stop.