Creating Christmas Traditions and Anthology News

Quick anthology updates before we get to the post proper:

Seasons Eternal is now available in print as well as in various ebook formats. See here for details.

I’m blogging about the sheer variety of what’s in the anthology, over at Turtleduck Press.

I’m also guest blogging about the Turtleduck Press mandate of publishing works that would otherwise fall through the cracks, and how the anthology fits into that, at Prudence MacLeod’s blog.

On Monday I talked about my anthology story here on this blog. Some of the other authors have weighed in as well. Here is KD Sarge talking about hers. And here is Kit Campbell delving into the origins of our shared-world premise.

Finally, I’m thrilled to be an interviewee on S.M. Hutchins’s fabulous Live Wonderstruck blog, talking about mindfulness and what makes me wonderstruck.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

The Christmas season is upon us, like it or not, and it’s time to prepare. The question is, how?

Let me explain. In our long history together, my significant other and I have mostly split the holiday between our parents’ houses, often sleeping at our respective childhood homes on Christmas Eve and eating two turkey dinners on two consecutive days. One year we celebrated in our apartment together. Another year we went to England and soaked up a British Christmas.

But this year will be our first Christmas in our own house, and we want to make it special. Complicating factor: his side of the family will be with us, mine won’t. Much as I love them, I don’t want to feel like his family traditions have taken over, that it’s his family Christmas and I’m just joining in. I’m happy to celebrate their traditions (even the ’70s-style marshmallow salad), but I also want to include some of my family’s traditions, and some brand-new ones from just the two of us.

Here are a few of my favourite family traditions:

  • Decorating the tree to the sweet strains of Boney M. I don’t know how or when this ’70s R&B group became our official tree-decorating soundtrack, but it’s an unassailable tradition.
  • Going to church on Christmas Eve. I’m not religious now, but I grew up in the Lutheran church, and I still go once a year. My favourite service has always been the Christmas Eve candlelight service, when Silent Night is sung in the light of a hundred flickering candles.
  • Making turkey dinner together. I’m not sure why it takes an entire family to figure out which way up the turkey goes in the oven, and make stuffing, and set the table all fancy…but I’m so glad it does.

Here are a few of the traditions we’re working on starting:

  • Buying one new ornament for the tree each year. We try to choose it together and have it mean something — for example, we bought one from England the Christmas we were there. This has worked because we have a tiny apartment-size tree, but once we get a bigger tree we’ll buy a set of basic ball ornaments to supplement our collection.
  • …actually, that’s as far as we’ve gotten.

So now it’s over to you. What are your favourite family Christmas traditions, and do you remember how they started? If you’ve created new traditions of your own, where did they come from, and how did you integrate them into the old ones from both sides?

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