Tradition! At my house the holidays are taken very seriously but not in the religious sort of way. I hate to say it like that, but it's true. We don't go crazy on birthdays or anniversaries, but Christmas is another ballgame altogether. I think it stems back from the fact that my father was 1 of 7 children, and the oldest. He had three sisters and 3 brothers all younger than him and Christmas morning wasn't the most homey family time for him, it was a mad dash to the tree and people just tearing the crap out of wrapping paper en masse. That and the fact that he loves to surprise his girls. That would be my mother, his wife of 43 years, my sister, my daughter and myself. So Christmas morning, even when we think the festivities are over, the last gift unwrapped, he has something else up his sleeve. Last year we got him good, because we were the ones who had the very last pressie, which of course was for him, after he thought he did. I can't begin to show you photos of our tree on Christmas morning because I would be embarrassed at the among of pressies under the tree, but I justify this in my head because we don't go crazy at any other time of year and it's only the 5 of us.
One of our traditions is that after October 1st, no one is allowed to buy any media (Cd's, books, movies, anything like that) or any non-essentials. You can buy socks and groceries obviously, but other than that NO BUYING FOR ONESELF after October 1st. Another of our traditions is that we are allowed to open up our stockings and 1 pressie from under the tree and we can pick that pressie, but the other people have a veto power they can use on our choice, so we may have to pick another. Usually, the pressie is something like a book to read the night before Christmas morning, new Filofax inserts, something to keep us busy and not thinking about the morning fun still to come. Me, I am CHRISTMAS crazy, I want to get everyone everything on their list and see their faces, it's much more fun for me that way. I used to be such a terrible snoop when I was little. When I was in 4th grade, I found where my parents hid the pressies, and was so bold as to unwrap some of the Barbies I got that year and actually play with them in my room until I got caught. needless to say, I didn't have Barbies under the tree Christmas morning, and I never saw those particular ones again, so... lesson learned.
Another tradition we have is around food. We almost always have Lasagna on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning there is and has always been Cinnamon Rolls, not just any, they have to be Grands Cinnamon Rolls. Now, mind you, I am allergic to cinnamon, my uvula, you know the little thing in the back of your throat that hangs down, swells up like a freaking golf ball and I can't breathe if I ingest too much, so I am only allowed to have like 2 cinnamon rolls and even then, only after I have had my Benadryl. Then we normally have proper dinner, with the full dining room experience to end the day. I am voting for no Thanksgiving dinner at home this year, as my father will not be here - he's still on contract work in VA, AND no Christmas day dinner at home, it'd be nice to go somewhere and have something different. I also don't like turkey with all the trimmings so that is where my vote comes from primarily, that and the fact that my mom hates to cook and clean up after.
In the vein of goals and small steps taking towards them, I got a call yesterday from a friend who is having a surprise birthday party for his girlfriend at a downtown club that I used to frequent quite often. He is the Lighting and Sound Manager there, so I guess he was able to get a great deal on getting private VIP room/space and he wants me to photograph the party. This is a no brainer. He is a good friend, a good guy and I'm glad to see him happy with this woman, he deserves it. I also will be able to see some other old friends who work at the club, and hey, I'm not about to get tipsy on the job, but a nosh on is going to happen for sure. I miss photographing people, events, etc, so this is another pop in the can for the business goals. YAY!