Home > Uncategorized > Holidays, Part 2

Holidays, Part 2

I love Christmas traditions.  Actually, I love holiday traditions, not just Christmas.  The problem is I’ve never really had any.  Growing up, we didn’t go to a Christmas Eve service at church or sing carols or even have a set day when we’d open presents.  My family was never that family.

Over the past few years, there were attempts at starting some traditions, but they never really took.  It didn’t help that I detached myself from anything resembling connection, including traditions.  It’s funny (in a make you want to cry sort of way) that I was never able to let myself be truly vulnerable.  The irony isn’t lost on me that I am writing that statement in a blog that is for public consumption, thus extending my vulnerability in a greater way than opening up to one person ever could.

That’s not really the point though.

I want holiday traditions.  Of course I want someone with which to share them, but I want to develop traditions of my own that I can carry with me throughout the years.  I have made a start at some and have ideas on others, but am not really sure.  I have a Thanksgiving tradition.  Every year I run a Turkey Trot.  Here in Dallas there is a 5K or an 8 miler.  I run the 8 miler.  It’s a great way to start Turkey Day 🙂  I ran the Jingle Bell 5K here in Dallas tonight and thought that would be a fun Christmas tradition, but I want more.  I was thinking about some sort of Santa Dash on Christmas morning, but then I thought that might be too many running oriented traditions.  I still think I will do some sort of annual run, but I want some other traditions.  Any ideas?  I will have a tree next year and it will be real, so I have those types of traditions covered 🙂

In other news, I did run the Jingle Bell 5K tonight. The coach told me to take it easy and enjoy it, but of course I failed at that.  I went as hard as my legs would let me for the first mile and actually ran a 6:45.  I was amazed but knew I would blow out my IT Bands if I kept it up so I backed off.  I ended up with a 24:03 and was happy.  I backed off enough that I’m not hurting now but was still able to push myself more than I have in a while.

It was maybe the flattest race I’ve ever run.  It started at 7:00 pm and was the first night race I’d run.  I actually enjoyed it.  I love running at night.  It makes me feel like I’m disembodied.  That’s a strange thing to enjoy, but I do 🙂  I had a couple friends who were supposed to run it with me, but they bailed so I ran it alone.  When I run races by myself, I am always struck by the community v. individual dichotomy of running.  I don’t know if there is another sport in which you are simultaneously with so many people yet competing by yourself.  I did realize tonight that these running traditions I am developing need others.  I want to run with friends on nights like these.  I want to be able to share the experience with those I love.

So what are your traditions? What are the things that connect one Christmas to the next for you?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Raydene
    December 23, 2010 at 5:59 am

    My family and I go to two church services on Christmas Eve (my Dad’s church at 6pm, and then my grandparents’ church at 11pm to midnight.) We ring in Christmas together at midnight and then after the service head over to IHOP 🙂 Christmas morning we wake up way early and go to the Christmas parade, then next stop is whoever’s house we are having Christmas lunch/dinner. We then open gifts (mostly the kiddos do), eat, and play games/sports.

  2. Colleen Kingery
    December 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

    We don’t do church, but my husband and I always stay in on Christmas Eve, make a nice dinner and watch the Christmas Story by our tree. On Christmas morning, we put an egg casserole and monkey bread in the over, go for a run, and then come home to open presents with our two dogs. We then head to my mom’s for the afternoon and evening.

    Congrats on a great 5k. Sounds like a fun run!

  3. December 23, 2010 at 8:36 am

    we are a family rife with traditions, esp around holidays. We always do a “stair photo” Christmas Eve of the family & various permutations (me w boys, boys alone, boys w dad, me & husband, etc.) so we can see how we’ve all grown & changed throughout the years. At Easter I do “spring photos” of the boys for same reason. The boys sometimes roll their eyes but I know they will appreciate them all later. The older one even picked out our color theme for this year so we’d coordinate, actually!

    We always have dinner w extended family on Christmas Eve, then have hot chocolate & Mexican pastries & tamales while we open presents from my husband’s family that night. Christmas morning is reserved for our unit – we sleep late, then open “Santa” presents, stockings & spend day together, just the four of us.

  4. Philip Barrett
    December 23, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I think there is so much pressure around Christmas and one of the most extreme is the media’s cliched portrayel of traditions. As we selected our tree this year (in 76 degrees & t-shirts) I remarked that shouldn’t we be doing this in powdery snow, pulling our tree on a sledge wearing Alpine sweaters? My story is flippant but my point is serious, the traditions that seem to have the most meaning are often the smallest. It could be as simple as an ornament or movie (or Ihop!).

    When I was 4 my mother made some Christmas angels out of craft paper with ping-pong balls for heads. I still remember her sitting by the window delicately painting the faces, the angels would then be strung across the room, Years later, although battered and dirty we would insist that my mother displayed her “crafts” to the world, those angels were as important to me as any Christmas tradition.

    For our family, we put up the tree on Christmas eve. My parents were not well off in our younger years and my mother as a teacher would bring home the school tree, class finished on the 23rd, so Christmas eve it was and still is! We spend a leisurely afternoon decorating then head to Mass. Afterwards we all sit down and watch The Snowman before bed.

    So Mike, don’t overlook the little stuff. You may already have Christmas traditions you just didn’t recognize them for what they are.

  5. December 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    We are the family o’traditions. I actually blogged today about my favorite of our traditions, but in general our whole season is full of them. The one we brought from my growing up years was to go to x-mas eve service then return home for a HUGE x-mas eve breakfast/ dinner. We have of course added mimosas to that tradition, but it just makes me feel like I’m honoring my family.

  6. January 6, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I feel you on the not being able to just run and enjoy it part; idk how to getto the start line, and then not compete. Another resolution of 2011, maybe? My Christmas, is getting my whole family together at my grandparents (50+ of us, and yes; it is utter chaos) Christmas eve. I always dread going, but always leave with a smile on my face. I don’t think it would be the holidays without it

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