Holiday Traditions

Happy Holidays! Whatever holiday you celebrate. If you don’t celebrate any holidays, I hope you are having a wonderful week! Whether it is beautiful weather and a chance to go outside, or terrible weather and total justification to stay in and watch Netflix, I hope it’s fantastic for everyone.


What is your favourite tradition? What is your favourite holiday movie? I think that most people have a favourite holiday movie, and that one will FOREVER be the best one. Some people love the National Lampoons Christmas. Some people love How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I am torn on the subject. I love the Grinch (both the Boris Karloff version and the Jim Carrey version). I also love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. I love all versions and interpretations of A Christmas Carol, from Disney to Scrooged.


I also have a confession to make.


In the last few years, a new film has made its way to my list of favourite holiday movies. I probably watch it a minimum of a dozen times over the holidays. There are a million memes and jokes about it. Yes, yes, I am taking about A Christmas Prince. I love it. I love it from the scene where the Prince teaches the main character to shoot a bow and arrow to the scene where he rescues her from wolves. I love the scene where she solves the mystery. I love the villainous Duke and Baroness who are contending for the throne. I love the feisty princess who threatens to throw people in the dungeon. ALL OF IT. Every time I watch it I cry as well. It’s that amazing.


On a serious subject, I spend a lot of time thinking at the holidays. Looking back on the year, reflecting on previous holidays, thinking about what I would like to happen in the upcoming year. It’s thinking about where I was last Christmas, or the Christmas before that, or the one before that. Or maybe any of the ones I had growing up, when I was just one of a dozen-odd children running around my grandparents’ house with my cousins.


There are a few things that stand out to me. Playing in the snow with my cousins. Baking cookies. Watching other people make tourtiere (and despite my French-Canadian heritage, I really dislike tourtiere – it’s the texture that’s weird to me). Accidently drinking the “grown-ups eggnog”. Making gingerbread houses. Opening only one present on Christmas Eve.


As an adult, I have had a number of different types of holidays, with different personnel combinations. Sometimes my immediate family. Sometimes my extended family. Sometimes with friends. Sometimes alone. As an adult, I don’t quite have the same structure for “traditions” that I used to growing up. I had a lot of prosecco in my fridge this year and spent time enjoying that but I was too busy getting settled in my new apartment to have time to bake cookies or tourtiere.


At first, I was a little bit sad that for the last four years, I’ve had different types of Christmas. I spent the holidays in four different places, in four different ways. I wanted, very badly, to have some kind of foundation, a tradition, something that was familiar, at least at Christmas. Something where I would know the smell of the cookies or tourtiere or cranberries. I would know the sound of people laughing and who was shouting. I would enter a house and be overwhelmed with the happy memories of childhood Christmas’.


I spent a lot of time thinking about this. You could even say that I puzzled and puzzed til my puzzler was sore. Then I thought of something I hadn’t before. While I have these amazing memories from when I was younger, now, I get to make my own plans and holiday traditions. They don’t have to be around one thing, around one group of people, around anything at all. I can make things that are super flexible that can be done from anywhere in the world, with any group of people.


That’s more than just Christmas too. If I only ever looked back at my life, and how “easy” it was before I was epileptic and how much “harder” it is now that I am, I would never be able to find happiness with now. So whether its holidays or a medical condition, I have actually realized that it’s more important to love our moments, cherish our memories, and embrace the lives we have rather than dwell on how “it used to be”. Going forward, some years I will help make cookies. I won’t likely ever eat tourtiere but I can appreciate that other people really like to. I will build gingerbread houses. Whatever it is I choose, that will be the moment that I am loving, not just missing the moments I had before.


Although, I think I will make it my personal holiday tradition to drink prosecco and watch A Christmas Prince. Please, how can anyone not love lines like “A palace is a lonely place for a king, without a queen”. Omg, I nearly teared up just typing that.

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