Christmas. The Silly Season. The time when families like to get together and annoy the crap out of each other. The time when most of us drag the Christmas tree and associated paraphernalia out of wherever it is we hide it. Then decorate our homes in a manner that would horrify us in any of the other 11 months of the year. The time when we eat, drink and socialise too much and vow that next year we’ll do it differently. But we rarely do.
It’s a time steeped in traditions stretching back a couple of thousand years, full of meaning and passed down through the ages. The giving of Christmas cards, presents and candy canes (even though no-one seems to like them very much). The placing out of a glass of beer (or milk in some houses) and bikkies for Santa, followed by half-drunk parents assembling trampolines in a dark backyard on Christmas Eve after the kids have FINALLY gone to sleep. Eating until you’re stuffed, be it the ’traditional’ roast or the more sensible seafood and salad option. A few us even head to a church around this time to remember the reason for the season.
Of course, the biggest tradition is that of the man in the red and white suit who breaks into your house during the night and leaves behind toys for your kids.
And then there are the other traditions that are created by families for no good reason that anyone can ever remember. Like my brother-in-law and the yellow and green Hawaiian shirt he has worn for about 15 Christmas Days in a row. It’s also never been washed. I have no idea why he persists in wearing it or why he started wearing it in the first place, but it makes me laugh every year and Christmas Day wouldn’t be Christmas Day without it.
Regular Mamamia commenter pt has crowned her Christmas Tree with a Boy George doll since 1996.
A friend and her adult daughter have passed the same Christmas card back and forth for 20 years. A childhood friend of mine have cranked up their Tijuana Brass Christmas LP (that means a long-playing vinyl record, for the younger readers) during their yearly present unwrapping for the past 35 years that she can remember.
My Christmas quirk is that I do not permit tinsel in the house. Ever.
What quirky festive season traditions does your family uphold?