Christmas. My favorite time of year. Chilly nights spent drinking cocoa (now lattes) and staring into the fire’s crackling, orange-hued flames, dreaming make-believe dreams and wishing for fairy tales. Of course, watching the Nutcracker Ballet every Christmas Eve as a child fed these fantasies to perfection.
Each new Christmas season, I pull out my favorite movies:
and my favorite music:
to help me get into the Christmas spirit, which in today’s VERY commercial society is hard to do. Instilling traditions passed from parent to child for generations is almost a lost art. Kids today only see the presents–always the biggest and most expensive.
I am only the third generation of my dad’s family to live in America. My great-grandfather left Germany to escape the impending destruction of World War I. All the wonderful (and yes, incredibly fattening) traditions he brought from the “old country” are still a treasured part of my family’s celebration.
Beyond any doubt, I can honestly say our favorite tradition is breakfast. Sitting around my parent’s large table, we eat German coffee bread and cinnamon rolls until we can’t move. Generously slathering butter over the homemade bread and dipping it in my mother’s homemade hot cocoa makes my mouth water as I write this. The rich buttery flavor with the perfect touch of cinnamon blended with chocolate is ambrosia. Combine that with the laughter and gaiety of my family’s weird sense of humor and it becomes priceless–a perfect Christmas present.
What are your favorite memories of Christmas? What traditions have your family passed down from generation to generation?