Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers. Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about. Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post. Today’s word is tradition….. I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.
Tradition – an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom);
Nothing makes my heart happier than celebrating a holiday or special occasion with family and friends, and doing it in a way we’ve always done it, or in a way that elicits fond memories from childhood. Over the years I’ve continued childhood traditions, adopted a few of my in-laws’, and Bill and I have started a few of our own.
Favorite Holiday Traditions:
- Dad reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve to my brother and me, and years later to his grandsons
- Christmas cookie baking with my mom
- Roasted chestnuts after Christmas dinner (Bill’s family)
- Driving around admiring Christmas lights after Christmas Eve mass
- Book Night
Out of all of the traditions from my childhood to the present, my favorite is Book Night. And I dare say that if you ask either of our sons or Bill which family tradition is their favorite, they would all answer, “Book Night,” as well.
Book Night started back when Joseph and Daniel were little as a way to encourage them to explore the world through books. We read to them regularly when they were young, but once they got into chapter books we wanted to help encourage their love for books to continue. Little did we know at the time that it would become a tradition we’d be enjoying all these years later with them as adults.
For years we started the night at Barnes and Noble next to Reston Town Center, but the store closed a couple of years ago so we now we go to Tysons Corner Center. After everyone purchases as many books as they want (within reason), we head to RTC for dinner. For several years we went to Macaroni Grill; and then one year we switched it up and went to Morton’s, then Jackson’s the following year, and last year we went to Il Fornaio.
After dinner, we usually stop by the Hyatt Regency’s lobby to check out the gingerbread village, and we always get a picture in front of the giant Christmas tree at Fountain Square. Some years we get hot chocolate and swing by the rink to watch the ice skaters, other years we get gelato. Most important is that we’re hanging out together!
As our family grows, I’m sure we’ll add new traditions and they’ll become very special as well, but I suspect that Book Night is here to stay, and will always remain as one of our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays!
Another favorite tradition started back when I was in high school. My mom and I started baking a few batches of Christmas cookies every weekend starting in early October. By mid-December we’d have enough cookies in the freezer to make elaborate trays of cookies and fudges to give to everyone we knew. My teachers, mom’s hairdresser, the mailman, and elderly neighbors were just a few of the lucky recipients of those delicious trays of calorie-laden goodness.
In later years, I’d dedicate a weekend with my mom for a cookie baking marathon. I think it was my dad’s favorite weekend of the year since he always assumed the role of quality control manager, tasting a sample cookie from every batch. Mom and I haven’t resumed the tradition since Dad died – it’s just been too hard.
Our newest family tradition has started now that our sons are adults and we have a daughter-in-law. After Christmas Eve mass, we’ve always driven around our neighborhood admiring all of the beautiful Christmas lights, but now instead of putting the boys to bed when we get home so Santa can come; we have a delightful evening of snacking on sausage roll, homemade sweets, and wintery cocktails. It’s family time, and simply delightful!
What are some of your favorite traditions?
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Next Wednesday’s Word: Celebrate