Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis the Season

I should be getting ready to head to the gym but a few things that happened this morning got me to thinking about tradition and what that means at Christmastime.

Both my sister-in-law and a great friend of mine have introduced the "Elf on the Shelf" to their families. I think that this is an awesome tradition and such a fun thing for kids to be involved with. Frankly, the Elf freaks me out with his beady eyes and rosy cheeks and how he moves around the house on his own. Also, the fact that he'll "freak out" if you touch him (as put by a sassy little 5 year old I know) kind of freaks me out even more.

I've always been a big fan of tradition. It was the little things that you did year after year, only surrounding a certain event or timeframe, that made something special. For me, Christmas was always about the excitement of visitng people, seeing family, and lots of laughter. I looked forward to our annual Christmas Eve open house party that my parents hosted at our house. I got to see all of my cousins and friends and other family all in one place. My mom made these great Swedish meatballs (leave it to me to remember the food..) and Santa came to visit. I would get picked on by cousins, fauned over by aunts and uncles, and just have a jolly good time. I was afraid of Santa as a child so, at the end of the night I would drag my sleeping bag into my brother's room and sleep on his floor. This continued well into high school and maybe even into my college years. He and I would wake up at a ridiculously early hour and open our stocking presents and then go back to sleep until sunrise so we could go wake up mom and dad for the main event. Christmas night was driving down to the Tonks's for dinner with more crazy (but wonderful!) family.

Times have changed and these traditions are now just memories. Kids get married, babies are born, people move away, and traditions die, adapt, and more are born. My family, who lives in several different states, is working to build new traditions while just enjoying our time together.

Even in this time of tradition "upheavel", there are certain things about Christmas that make the season for me. I thought I'd list out some of the things that make Christmas for me:
-The smell of a real tree in the house
-Bruce Springsteen's version of Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
-Baking cookies
-Driving around looking at Christmas lights
-Wearing a Santa hat out of the house and it being completely acceptable
-People's general spirit of love and giving
-Wrapping my dog's presents just so he can tear them open
-Gatherings with friends and family are the most fun this time of year
-There are movies that you only get to watch at this time of year
-Snow :)

The list goes on and I might add more later. For now, I better stop procrastinating and get to work on my list of things to do.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


After being called out one too many times by my loving boyfriend, I have returned, with new resolve, to my blog. Yes I realize that I've only had one previous entry but that doesn't stop the fact that I am committing to regular updates on my life through thoughts, stories, questions, and general musings.

So, what have I been up to on my hiatus? Not much actually. Lots of football watching, book reading, intense facebooking, couch surfing, and procrastinating. Oh, and I bought a new car. But now I have a new purpose and my focus and drive have been restored. I have begun training for the 2010 White Lake Half Ironman on May 8th. This will include the next 20.5 weeks of lots of swimming, biking, running, stretching, and sleeping. I intend on updating my weekly and then monthly mileage covered throughout my training. All I can really hope for at this point is to make it through training healthy and uninjured (which has proven in the past to be quite challenging for me). Throughout the process I will be able to share any amusing stories or happenings that come from my training. As challenging as the next 4.5 months will be, I'm confident that there will be some seriously entertaining moments that I'll be happy to share (caterpillars, eggs, mac trucks, and sideways bike know who you are).

Up next: my favorite Christmas things.