Holiday traditions give our annual celebrations a predictable, comfortable shape. Favorite foods, expected guests, anticipated activities and special music make our festivities a familiar affair. My childhood holiday traditions revolve around my mother working very hard: cooking, cleaning, baking, decorating. I honestly don't remember helping much. The five of us had no extended family in the area so while our guest list rarely varied, our gatherings were none the less filled with delicious food, plenty of gifts, and catching-up conversations. Thanks Mom, for pouring your love into decades of holidays!
Of course, time marches on and traditions adjust. My parents have lived out of state now for almost twenty years so our holidays have drastically changed shape. Much of my husband's extended family lives in our area, and because our home is conveniently too small to host holiday gatherings, it's off to Grandma's house we go. Thanksgiving is celebrated at an Aunt's house with a brilliantly cooked turkey, friendly pups underfoot and often an unexpected guest or two. I've settled in nicely to my role of bringing a side dish and a dessert. I enjoy always bringing something fun and festive.
Decorations leave no doubt as to what holiday is being celebrated. A holiday flag in your front yard or something fun to drape on your front door instantly welcomes guests and puts them in the holiday mood. Even throughout the season, as you go about your daily chores in and out of your home, you'll be greeted with a little holiday spirit. Who knows, you may even start a new tradition!
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