This morning the writing blogosphere is abuzz with "Kissing Day." In theory I'd like to participate, but I don't have anything to share that wouldn't (1) be a spoiler and ruin part of the story, (2) lose quite a lot of its power when taken out of the novel's context, or (3) both.
So I'll segue from kissing... to mistletoe (see above!)... to holiday traditions. (ANY holiday is up for discussion, although I'm going to be focused on Xmas.)
I've been thinking a lot about traditions lately because we have a toddler. (Is she still a toddler if she no longer toddles, but instead dances, climbs, and sprints?) We're at the very beginning of a (hopefully) long future as a family, and we want to start building traditions now. Some we'll take from our families, some are just part of the cultural zeitgeist, and some we'll invent all by ourselves.
- We are a big Xmas tree family. If you're not worrying whether the tree will fit in the house, it's not big enough. We had to snip a couple inches off the top of our current tree after we got it home so that it wouldn't hit the ceiling.
- Xmas food: mulled cider, both for drinking and for that amazing spicy smell. Pecans toasted with salt & butter. Ham rolls: thick slices of ham rolled up with cream cheese and scallions inside, like a little sushi roll. (That one's from my side of the family, and I have no idea where the recipe came from.)
- Xmas baking: my daughter and I baked our first batch of cookies together yesterday. Neither of us can cook worth a damn, but the cookies are edible and the video is priceless.
- Music: carols are permitted -- nay, encouraged! -- once my birthday has passed. I am currently loving the various holiday radio mixes at Pandora. (I'll post a video celebrating my all-time favorite carol on Friday.)
- Yule log: my parents videotaped the WPIX Yule Log the last year that it aired, and we play it every year. This year they're bringing it back with a 4th hour of new music! Awesome.
- Santa: we're not doing Santa this year, but almost certainly will next year.
- Television/movies: we're going to keep it to a minimum this year because my daughter's so young, but... the original Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life (I am the only person in my family who likes this movie, dangit), Muppet Christmas Carol (Michael Caine? Robin as Tiny Tim? How can you not love it?), The Christmas Toy (not as good now as I'd remembered it being, but I'm still in love with the sweet little mouse), The Nutcracker with Baryshnikov and Kirkland, the extended animated Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and A Wish for Wings That Work, among others.
There's more, but I'm behind in my shopping, and my family needs stocking stuffers. Tell me about your holiday activities! And, to keep things ever-so-vaguely in a writerly theme... do your characters have a favorite holiday tradition? My MC and her best friends have a serious hot cocoa addiction, and I think they probably mix it up with peppermint and raspberry flavors to make the holidays more special...