i grew up with two christmases.
and lots of different traditions.
christmas afternoon was always the same b/c we usually ended up at dad and sandie's by then (with a few years that fell under an exception with the other parents).
some years i spent christmas eve with my mom.
other years were with dad and sandie.
with dad and sandie,
everything started with paul mccarntey's "simply having."
we couldn't enter the christmas room until it playing.
we all complained about how annoying it was,
but secretly i always loved it.
baked bri cheese and shrimp.
martinelli's in champagne flutes.
waiting for adam and kelsey to get to our house so i could see what santa had left us.
imagine having to wait until 1pm to see what santa had brought you.
maybe it was 11am.
all i know is that it felt like forever.
it wasn't easy.
but i never peeked!
really, i never did.
i'm still good at waiting patiently for surprises.
then there was the 4 hour present opening spectacle.
i still love it that way.
everyone watches while each person opens each gift, not including stockings.
those were all at once.
it makes christmas last the entire day.
one year dad taped christmas sideways.
that was fun to watch.
another year sandie put an iron candle holder bowl thing on her head b/c no one could figure out what it was.
and then there was the year that grandpa dick got only books.
books have now been a banned gift for him.
we've moved onto movie tickets.
skins on b/c that's where all of the vitamins are.
and they taste better that way.
we think so:)
but no gravy.
b/c grandma joi and i gave it up.
we could never get it right.
although dad conquered it this year at thanksgiving,
and we were all glad to have it back.
then there's grandma's jello salad.
the kind that come with a toy and a paper crown.
we have the same menu at thanksgiving too, with the exception of the meat being turkey instead of prime rib.
oh, and the lotto scratchers.
sandie buys them.
then cashes them in.
i never win.
or i just win a ticket.
but we've been doing them since forever.
passing around grandpa's knife or coins from someones pocket.
sean's family reenacts the nativity story.
after meat and cheese fondue.
dress up clothes and all.
i'm rooting for baby max to be the baby jesus this year.
maybe that means i'm finally a shoe in for mary.
so sean can be joseph.
and bieber the donkey???
sean's mom plays the piano out of the famous christmas book, and we all sing along.
it's red fabric and white ruffles around the outside.
i want my own.
then it's off to smush in the car for the neighborhood christmas light tour.
christmas morning is dawned with egg casserole, chocolate croissants, and tom n jerry's (minus the rum) hot drinks.
the longest running tradition with my mom was the nutcracker ballet.
we went every year from 1st-5th grade, with stacie in tow.
i've gone several times since then, but nothing as consistent as when we were kids.
all dressed up in our fanciest dresses we would drive to the Capitol Theater.
if i could only find a picture in the basement.
with the sugar plum fairy party after.
i always wanted to be a ballerina on those nights.
with their tutus that stuck out in a circle around their waists.
pointy pink shoes.
i think a part of me will always wish i would have been a ballerina.
a flower floating across a spotlit stage with big snowflakes falling from the sky.
just like christmas.