Christmas gets complicated

image via FlorLarios

Pretty sure I haven't mentioned it here before, but my childhood Christmases were not Western-world traditional. At home there were baked goods & nativity scenes but no trees, wreaths, gift-exchanges or stockings. It really didn't rock my boat that my parents felt so strongly about what to emphasize each December, though Nana usually took me to the Nutcracker Ballet & Midnight Mass (such fun music & costumes, both of them). Upon getting married into a much larger & more traditionally festive family, we began spending Thanksgiving with my folks & Christmas with his. Thus, a flurry of enjoyable yet foreign customs get into my brain around this time each year.

Next week is Black Friday, & thus I usually avoid shopping until the New Year passes. With an ever-growing number of nieces & nephews, the list of gifts to make or collect puts my skills of procrastination to shame. This year I'm hoping that every cousin can draw another cousin's name, so they each get to tear some paper off a box. And maybe all the adult siblings/spouses could draw a name of their same gender, that way it's fun to shop/make stuff for each other. We could go in on something for mom & dad? I'm also down with giving $0 gifts for kids (like free books at the end of library sales, desirable handmade or handed-down items, etc) & donating Christmas gift $$ although Nic loves giving gifts so he might not agree. [I love wrapping gifts, but can give it up if there's a consensus on buying a family a goat or something.]

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