Christmas Eve at Midnight Tradition
A Magical Hour
Midnight is the halfway point between what was and what will be. It is the perfect time for reflection and new beginnings shared with old traditions. We observe several holiday traditions at the Yuletide season.
I eagerly embraced these traditions that were old to my current husband, but new to me. In the years I spent with my ex, he was not at all impressed by the Christmas/Yule season, and would just as soon have hibernated.
Growing up, though, there were traditions in my parent's household, and I missed them sorely. That is why I was so willing to embrace new ones with my new hubby. ;-)
We go all-out with the decorations--it takes us almost 3 weeks starting the day after Thanksgiving--to get all of it done, both indoors and out, working on it in our spare time.
It is a childhood dream fantasy come true. I used to love going on rides with my folks to see all the holiday decorations around town, but they never did any outdoor display, and I always wanted to do that.
Our Over-the-Top Outdoor DisplayClick thumbnail to view full-size
A Bite to Eat
While some put out milk and cookies for Santa and carrot sticks for the reindeer, those traditions are reserved to households with young children.
Our tradition is a warm fuzzy one that is adult in nature, only because it is about together time and relaxation after the hustle and bustle of the decorating, partying and shopping leading up to the holiday. Also, if there are youngsters in the house, by midnight, they should have long since been tucked into bed to ensure 'no peeking' when Santa arrives.
Cookies are still present, and yes, a present--pun intended--but they are for the grownups to enjoy in that special space between the days.
Enter the serving tray, bearing large, soft, chewy, iced molasses cookies and steaming mugs of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. Throw in soft music and toss a Yule log in the fireplace if you have one. (We have to settle for a fake electric one these days.) Cuddle up on the couch in the dark and enjoy the decorations with only the tree providing light.
The Tree VillageClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Final Touch
As we sip our hot cocoa, or maybe afterwards, we join in our own new tradition of hanging the last ornament on the tree.
When we met, we bought a special ornament for our first Yule together, and every year since, we buy a single, special ornament.
We take that ornament, and together hang it front and center on the tree, and that completes our decorating. It is our moment of togetherness, peace and quiet before the mad dashing around that occupies Christmas day, and we cherish it to the fullest.
© 2010 Liz Elias