Saturday, December 12, 2009


The other night, as Cowboy H and I were driving home, I began thinking of family traditions and holiday traditions and growing up and making your own.

When Cowboy H and I first got together we were broke. Cowboy and college student broke. Christmas came along and we were still broke, but we were together, so something had to be done. We couldn't afford to buy lots of Christmas presents. Heck, we couldn't even afford any Christmas presents. But we refused to not do anything. Instead of charging up cards, or borrowing money, or renting one's self out on the street corner, I bought dollar stockings, put our names on them with puff paint (remember that stuff?) and we set a $20 per stocking limit. Then we headed to WalMart (together), each got our own cart and spent the next 45 minutes trying to avoid each other while filling our own cart with dorky items for the other's stocking. It was so much fun! And here we are, four Christmases later and we are trying to schedule our annual run.

It has become our tradition. Even though there will be a few actual gifts under the tree this year, we will go to WalMart (together) and buy $20 worth of crap to stuff in each others' stockings.

I was thinking back on this the other night and how we did what worked for us, not what our growing up told us to do, not what the commercials told us to do, not what our friends told us to do.

Of all the Christmas traditions I have participated in, this has become my favorite one. It's my favorite because it belongs to us, was created by us, and it there so much meaning behind it. It gets me, right in the heart, and makes my heart swell up, to the point that it feels like bursting, just thinking about it. In fact, as I'm typing this, I've got a little smile creeping onto the corners of my mouth and my eyes are a little teary.

Does anyone else have a Christmas tradition that holds extra special meaning? Does anyone else remember the first tradition that they created? What are some unique Christmas traditions that you carry on each year?


  1. That is a great tradition you guys have started! I can't think of any major ones in our family, but one that sticks out is our more recent tradition of doing a gift exchange. We do it like a white-elephant (where you can steal gifts from others) but we don't buy tacky gifts, we just buy a gift under $15 for a man or woman. It gets to be pretty brutal and a lot of fun!
    A new tradition I would like to start this year is to go Christmas caroling to a nursing home.


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