Tuesday, 20 December 2011

On holiday traditions

Hello everyone! What is your holiday tradition?

I can tell you without hesitation what my childhood holiday tradition was: spending time with family and childhood friends, eating, going downtown to check out the Christmas lights and the shops, making a final shopping rush on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, have a grand family meal that same evening, waking up with trepidation on Christmas Day to discover the surprises awaiting under the tree, having Panettone for breakfast and my grandmother's cooking for lunch, eating some more while visiting family and friends until New Year's Eve, and awaiting the last holiday surprise on the 6th of January, the Italian "Befana" that is the official end of the holiday season (as you may remember from this post).

Before my son was born, all of this was replaced by a travel frenzy. My husband and I were in a long distance relationship, our families live in two different countries in Europe, and everyone obviously had expectations from us of joining in their celebration. When my son was born, however, travelling during the holidays became out of the question. We wanted to give him the same holiday tradition we had growing up, which most definitely did not involve travelling on Christmas Day. We had a couple of years of bliss, when our family tradition became taking a trip the week before Christmas, generally to the US (where we visited our friends and crossed off the items on our holiday wishlist by taking advantage of great post-Thanksgiving deals), and then entertain visiting relatives during the days that followed.

You may remember how last year went, with the exception of the fantastic trip we took to the Italian Riviera. I was thus looking forward to this year's holiday celebration: decorating our house and our first real tree (because of traveling, so far we ha always decorated a fake tree), taking my son to meet Santa at the Mall, watching movies around a cozy fire, eating Panettone every morning, drinking Starbucks gingerbread lattes, and shopping great deals online. But I am pregnant, and I have so many food intolerances (and such an enormous belly already) that the eating part is totally out of the question. Same goes for the shopping, since it would not make sense to buy clothes or more shoes right now (as my feet have begun to swell).

I would not care about any of it, if at least my family could be all together for Christmas. Yet my parents have decided not to come this year, because they just visited us in occasion of my son's birthday and they really want to come back for the baby's birth at the end of February. Do not get me wrong, especially in light of last week's tragedy in Newton, I feel blessed for my husband and my son. It is just that I am having an incredibly hard time getting over my parents' absence. The pregnancy hormones are not helping in lighting up my mood either...

Photo (and recipe!): Chez Us.

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