Merry Christmas!Before I knew better, I used to think that every store trying to shove Christmas down our throats in order to get us to buy, buy, buy, lessened the joy of Christmas. I agree that the idea of Christmas decorations for sale in August is rather nauseating, but in the end, Christmas time does go by way too fast.
Proof. Here I am, eleven days until Christmas and I am just getting started documenting my favorite Christmas traditions. I love Christmas, I love traditions and I REALLY love Christmas traditions. So I have lots. And I like to add new ones every year, or add to existing ones. The boys are already starting to pick up on our family traditions and remember them from year to year. Yes, even William. So this is the first in a series of posts about our family Christmas traditions. Enjoy.
For us, Christmas starts Thanksgiving weekend when we walk down to 2nd St. to look at the lights. I try not to go down there at night for a week or 2 before Thanksgiving because lights are already going up (yes, they are always trying to rush things) and I want to enjoy the full effect when we come down that first night of the Christmas season. All the trees are lit, and the stores are lit up too. The stores on each block are lit differently, sometimes each store is. While that may bother some people, I like the old fashioned imperfection of it. The boys like to look at all the shop windows decorated for Christmas. Their hands down favorite is Billings Hardware. They could spend hours watching the trains, ski slope, ferris wheel and every other spinning, light -up thing imaginable displayed in their window. Sometimes Aaron and I get coffee and sit on the bench outside for some "alone" time while the boys stare, entranced with the Christmas magic.
After we finally tear them away, we head down to the beach to see the trees. Long Beach has a tradition of its own to light up Christmas trees and float them all around the bay. They are lit up on Thanksgiving night and now they seem to me to be the official herald of Christmas. I love those trees.
The hard part about this is convincing the kids that they can't play in the sand because it is dark and cold and we have to walk home. We can usually persuade them with promises of hot chocolate.