Saturday, January 4, 2014

Holiday Fun

2013 Thanksgiving Weekend Parade
 The holidays are always fun.  We, like many families, have our own fun traditions we prescribe to.  Some have been around forever or have come into play as things have changed in our lives.  Not all our children live at home so that also affects how we do things. 

Thanksgiving we had all but one of our children at the house.  She is off at college and couldn't make it in.  The wife loves to cook and usually does so for an army (I am a big leftover fan so that is a good thing).  In fact this was the first year I can remember that we didn't have a 20+ pound turkey.  We always put cranberry sauce on the table but nobody eats it thus becoming humor fodder for the family.  The kids did the shopping at Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving as they do every year.  Living in a small town our Wal-Mart is not the same zoo other Wal-Marts are.  The small town in which we now live also has a holiday parade and 5K the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The parade, and 5K, runs in front of our house and we invite anyone and everyone to sit on our large front porch to watch with us.  We've had as many as 12 or as few as 2 with us.  The wife also makes a nice warm soup and other goodies to feed everyone.  This year my running fanatic boss and her son came to town and we ran the 5K which is the first time I've been able to do so.  It was a great Thanksgiving. 

2013 Christmas
With three of our five youngins living out of town it is almost impossible to get everyone here at the same time.  To that end we did Christmas three separate times.  Just adds to making the holiday special.  The wife cooks homemade pizza on Christmas Eve every year.  This year our 60 year old stove decided to quit that day.  Great timing...  We didn't sweat it and ordered pizza for delivery.  For Christmas Eve everyone opens gifts from Mrs. Clause which surprisingly are always funny sleep pants, shirts and socks or slippers.  Yes, we are that family.  We take the picture of everyone in their "jammies" and it is shared with family and friends and becomes part of the next year's Christmas card.  I had friends texting me on Christmas in anticipation of this year's pic.  Fun stuff.  Christmas Eve night a few other gifts are opened which normally contain movies and a family game.  At some point the kids are banished to their rooms and me and the wife, I mean Santa, get to putting out the gifts.  Milk and cookies for Santa are also put out and of course are half drank/eaten when we get up Christmas morning.  When it comes to opening the gifts someone plays Santa and hands out all the gifts.  We then go around the room letting everyone open one until they are all opened.  After that the kids seem to go their own way and things quiet down until Christmas dinner is ready.  This year Santa was good to me.  I received a 7th Gen iPod Nano to replace my broken Zune, the Stryper CD Soldiers Under Command, the book The Breaks of the Game which chronicles the 1979 Portland Trail Blazers, the Company of Heroes PC game, NCAA Football 2014 PS3 video game  and the awesomeness that is the "I Survived Sharknado" shirt.   Pretty nice haul.  Again a great time which we all enjoyed so very much.

New Years hasn't had any hard set traditions.  The last few years the wife and I have used this as a chance to get away from the house for a bit.  This has meant just going to a hotel and enjoying  some time together.  Two years ago we stayed in town at one of the smaller hotels.  We do enjoy adult beverages but the hotel was within walking distance of anything we could want which allowed us to do as we please.  One thing we look for are marathons on TV.  SyFy plays Twilight Zone on New Years eve and New Years day each year.  We've watched that two of the last three years.  Last year we got stuck on Locked Up Abroad.  We can be pretty random sometimes.  This year we searched out a small hotel in one of the small Illinois towns.  We did find a great looking Route 66 type hotel but it had no vacancies.  We ended up in an old hotel but it was in a bigger town than what we had hoped.  Still we had a very good time. 

Blow up fruit cake our youngest gave us with a Christmas card.  We always have a real fruit cake which everyone takes a bite of and then talks about how bad it tasted.  I know, we are bad about making fun of food. 
So while our holiday traditions are not ground breaking they are ours.  We have such a good time and it is all about memories as a family.  That is something my wife has instilled in me.  It is about looking back and remembering all the great times.  I hope everyone out there had as good a time as we did. 

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