My favorite time of the year is upon us, when I allow myself to unabashedly over eat, foie gras, chocolates, Bailey's, smoked salmon, stilton, gingerbread and cranberry sauce. These are a few of my favorite things. Not that I ever think you need an excuse to indulge yourself with food, but I guess this time of year makes me think it's slightly more legitimate.
It's 15 years now that I've been out of the States, and I'm struggling to remember exactly what it was that made up my holiday season when I was a child. I remember random things like nut covered cheese balls, candy canes and marshmallow-topped yams, but I struggle to remember other things like what time we ate our Christmas dinner, when we opened our stockings, why my parents dragged their 3 year old daughter to midnight mass and wondered why she was cranky, etc.
Now that I'm a mother, living in France and married to an Englishman, my ideas of what is traditional is a little skewed. Do I embrace the French ways of celebrating the season, do I try to re create the Christmas of my childhood in the States, or do I go with the Duke's English traditions? My poor little ladies aren't sure if the fat guy in the red suit is called Pere Noel, Father Christmas or Santa Claus.
I know now is the time to start creating my own family tradition with the kids, but I could really use a guidebook on how to mix all of the different traditions into one. I would love to hear how any of you other mothers have done this. I guess I have to pick all of things that are important within all of the cultures and try to make some sort of sense out of it all. I suppose the best bit is that they all include lots of eating, and on that score, I seem to be upholding the traditions very well!
This brings to me to the tricky religious part. It feels slightly strange that my children only think of Christmas as a time to get presents. And as we aren't a religious family, I'm not sure how much or even how I would go about teaching them the story behind the holiday. Again, any input would be greatly appreciated.
Whichever traditions you and your family enjoy this time of year, I hope the season is a happy and healthy one for you all!
On a different note, I finished my Nanowrimo novel, 52,000 words! I plan to start editing in January, and I sincerely hope that at this time next year, I have a fully formed novel to share with the world!
Season's greetings to you all, although I much prefer the Nigella Lawson version, Season's Eatings!