Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Traditions

We went on the Christmas Train Thursday night & it was a hit! Sprout was gazing at all the shiny things everywhere & stayed awake until just before we left. We didn't wait too long to ride the train & even managed do it all during a small window of time when it wasn't raining. We checked out the Children's farmyard afterward, briefly. Not really worth the trip in the evening. At least half the critters were sleeping, the barns were warm, but dim & of course smelly. Meh.

We'll definitely make this an annual tradition, I think.

Another tradition I've just discovered on Presser Foot is the Elf on the Shelf. A magical elf is sent from Santa's workshop to live with a family & watch the children to see if they've been naughty or nice. He then flies home nightly to report back to Santa, returning early in the morning & hiding somewhere different every day of December. The children must find him as soon as they wake up, but once they have, he goes up on a shelf in a prominent place in the house & they can't touch him. This explains how Santa knows if they've been good or not. A little Big Brother-ish, but cute. I like the hunting & I bet a kid would love the challenge every day. Maybe we'll institute this one when Sprout is a bit older.

Friday night we bought a real cut tree at Ikea. I chose a noble fir, about 6 feet tall & who knows how wide? Just smelling its evergreeny goodness in the lot brought back a lot of memories of my childhood. I'm glad we got a real one, rather than an artificial one. Maybe I won't be--we'll see how well the thing goes up & how long it lasts. I also have no idea how our cat might react to it. He is blind as a bat, so maybe he won't notice for a while...

Today I got us a tree stand & hopefully tomorrow we can get the thing in the house, free it from its twine-y bonds & decorate. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will fit in the corner I'm hoping to place it. I've never actually had a real tree since I moved out. I did use a small fake one I got from my grandparents, which was kitsch embodied in a perfect radially symmetrical four-foot tall plastic pine. I accumulated a few ornaments & some lights over the years, but I have no idea if it will be enough to decorate this year's tree.

Another tradition I'm determined to continue from my childhood is the Christmas stocking. Oli didn't grow up with this, so I actually made him his first stocking when he was about 30! Sprout's lovely & talented Auntie Wem is knitting (or perhaps has already finished?) him one this year. I can't wait to see it! The only trouble with having stockings in this house is that we have no fireplace & hence no mantel to hang the stockings from. It just seems wrong to stick them up on the wall, but unless we get ourselves an electric fireplace, we've got no other option...


  1. German tradition is a boot (or a plate) of sweets on Sankt Nikolaus Tag. This is where the stocking thing comes from- it is a very recent invention.

  2. Sprout's stocking was knit for him in September! I just had to put the finishing touches on it. I need to give it to him before Christmas though...somehow unwrapping it on Christmas day just isn't going to work.

    I find that elf on the shelf rather creepy. I have a friend on facebook who does some hilarious things with her elf though-and photographs it for us all to see on facebook every night!


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