Revised Traditions

eggnog ice cream

Throughout my elfin years, every Christmas morning went the same way. I would wake up at a reasonable hour – say, 8am – and creep down the hall of my small apartment, hoping not to wake my parents as I looked, but never touched, the color-coordinated packages under the tree. I was always half successful. My father sleeps like a rock and would likely not be shaken by an earthquake. My mother, on the other hand, although exhausted from “playing Santa” the evening before, would always hear me and be the first to wish me a “Merry Christmas”.

My mother is the antithesis of Martha Stewart, but every Christmas, she dreamed up a theme that complimented our Christmas tree ornaments; purchased bags, tags, bows, dangley things and wrapping paper that matched that theme; and wrapped presents until 3 am, staggering them according to height, weight and aesthetics. Eventually, my father’s internal clock decided that he was ready to grace us with his presence and the opening commenced.

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