Another day of gloomy weather here in RI, and we're not even getting the snow that everyone else seems to be getting! I'm sick of rain and gray skies. Enough already! Once again, it is raining slush today, which will freeze later, making a huge mess.
Despite the rain and gloom, we are pressing forward with holiday preparations. One of my favorite of our family traditions is our annual trek to a local mall where the kids pick out a Hallmark ornament to add to their collections. The plan is that when they move to their own homes (Emily most likely at 18, Jake hopefully by 40), they will take those ornaments with them. This year, Emily picked a High School Musical "locker" that sings "We're All in This Together" when the door opens. The ornament reminded her of her stint as Ms. Darbus in HSM when she was in sixth grade. Jake chose an Ironman ornament, in honor of his favorite movie of 2008. Cliff Claven takes Emily to Indiana for a weekend every May, during which Jake and I usually go to a movie of his choice. Last year, I sort of suffered through Spiderman 3. This year, I was dazzled by Ironman, so I definitely approved of his ornament choice!
The ornament outing also includes a trip to the Olive Garden and pairing up with mom and dad to finish their shopping. With some variations, my original family used to take a similar trip every holiday season—to the same mall we go to now. Those trips are the ONLY time I can ever remember being with my father in a mall. My kids will be able to say the same thing about their father! Last night, we added a new twist to the tradition. As we were leaving the mall, the kids talked us into getting their pictures taken in a photo booth. After we paid $3 for four extremely goofy pictures that I will keep forever, they informed us that the photo booth is now part of the routine.
I hope they will remember these things we did together when they are grown up with families of their own. I suspect they will because they are already holding us to them. This year, we changed church parishes and both of them have already asked me if we will be going to our former church at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve the way we have since we moved here six years ago. Yes, I assured them. St. Mary's is part of our Christmas tradition. We won't be changing it.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?