I'm sort of on holiday hiatus for a few days, but just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays in general. This blog is all about money, and this season can sometimes seem like it is all about money, as people get caught up in shopping, decorating, exchanging gifts, and all the financial implications of these things. But I hope everyone finds some time to put away their wallets and credit card receipts and just enjoy being with family or friends. Do you have any favorite holiday traditions that don't involve the whole commercial, gift-buying craze? I'll share one of mine:
I come from a very large extended family. Until recently, each Christmas, everyone would gather at my grandmother's house on Christmas eve. We'd order about 15 pizzas for dinner. Afterwards, we'd eat Christmas cookies that had been elaborately decorated by my aunt, including a "boot" with each grandchild's name on it. (Someone eventually pointed out that the boots were most likely meant to be stockings, but I guess we all had some kind of collective mental block about that!) We'd light my grandmother's candleholder, one of those ones where the hot air from the candles makes a bunch of angels fly around in a circle, and then we'd sing some carols, culminating in this traditional favorite:
Silent night, holy nightWell, it's traditional for us, anyway, ever since my grandfather made it up 40 or 50 years ago! My grandparents are gone and the Christmas traditions are evolving nowadays, but some things never change. Now that I have a niece and nephew, I'm trying to instill the same holiday spirit in them, by singing various versions of this song, to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:"
Santa Claus comes tonight
Salted peanuts and chocolate ice cream
Trick or treat on Halloween
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie
Hurrah for the 4th of July.
Jingle, jingle little bell
Silent night, holy night.
Frosty the snowman was a bear,
Rudolph the reindeer had no hair.
My niece scowls at me and says "that's not how it goes," but my nephew just laughs. We'll see if I can get them to memorize it by the time they're my age!
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!