Christmas, like Thanksgiving, is a holiday that has always been centered on tradition for me. We have my mom’s lasagna for Christmas Eve dinner (we realized this year was the silver anniversary of that meal), we go to the 9:00 p.m. service at church (it was the one I always sang in during my time in the choir), and we have cinnamon/orange rolls for breakfast, once everyone is allowed to wake up on their own.

But while all of these traditions are special to me (and I have been known to be a bit of a pill when they get fussed with – Christmas 1999 anyone?!), there is nothing I enjoy more than curling up in front of the Christmas tree, with the lights on and twinkling. I could be lost in a book I’m reading, talking politics with my father, or laughing over a dilapidated gingerbread house I attempted to make with my mother, but it needs to be in front of the tree.

Though I do enjoy the look of Christmas trees that are monochromatic and highly stylized, I love our tree, with its multi-colored lights and mixture of ornaments, because it’s like getting a glimpse into our family’s history. There are the ornaments my parents got when they celebrated their first Christmas together as a married couple, there are “Baby’s 1st Christmas” angels that mark my arrival into this world, there are a ton of baubles that I made when I was little, and we even have some new additions this year – a Heinz Christmas pickle and Ralphie from A Christmas Story in his bunny suit, marking the Mysterious Mr. C’s first Christmas in Pittsburgh.

Every year, when we decorate the tree and unwrap all of the ornaments, we can’t help but reminiscence about where the different trinkets came from, the years they were added to the tree, and all of the different Christmases we’ve celebrated together as a family.

So while I may not be up as early as I once was, or clamoring to open all of my presents (I have learned some restraint in my 28 years!), I am enjoying having some quiet time to myself in front of my tree, to reflect on my family and all of the wonderful adventures we have had and will continue to enjoy in the new year.

Merry Christmas dear readers, from our GeekyNerdy family to yours, and have some very happy holidays!!

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