Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Wars

Some people hate Christmas. Some people ignore it, and some people go all-out crazy (I’m talking to you, house completely covered in twinkly lights and blow-up decor). For my part, I really like Christmas. 

When I was little I loved it for the presents, because…well…presents. Then I got a little older and was able to look at Christmas – and all holidays, really – as a time to just chill out and enjoy the moment. I don’t get to do that very often, since I’m generally in uber-productivity mode any time I’m awake. So the respite of a holiday is always welcome.

One of the things I love about Christmas is the menagerie of holiday traditions my family has come up with. The weekend after Thanksgiving, we go and cut down a real tree in the mountains, sometimes hiking for hours to find one that my sisters deem “appropriate”. About a week later, my mom makes cinnamon rolls and finger foods and we decorate the entire house.

But of all the traditions that I get the most excited for, besides the stockings or staying up until 2 a.m. finishing handmade presents, I think my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING is the wrapping contest between me and my youngest sister.

Oh, it’s not just a wrapping contest. It’s a war. Not for Prettiest or Coolest or Most Inventive, but …(drumroll)… the Most Difficult to Unwrap.

Yeah, we’re kind of weird. One year it literally* took us both two hours to unwrap our presents. Two. Hours. We have rules like “No knives” and “No outside help”. I have spent an hour wrapping a gift only to see it ripped apart in five minutes flat**.

The best part is that I don’t even remember who holds the record, or even who won last year (I think it was me. I think). It’s just the best thing ever to see my family’s faces when Stephanie and I pull out our presents for one another and smile at each other like this:

What kind of awesome holiday traditions do you have?

When it snows enough to build things, Michelle and her two awesome sisters create Calvin & Hobbes style snowmen. And an igloo. It seems random in hindsight, but in the chill of the moment it’s totally appropriate. 

*Yes, literally. I'm not exaggerating or joking. Literally two hours. 
**Duct tape, while appearing “tough” and “impenetrable”, is actually really easy to tear, just fyi.

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