Dear Holiday Child-
Welcome! We are so very happy that you are here! Come on in! Your holiday sisters, ages 9 and 6, are excited to see you, especially if you’ll agree to get dressed up and join them in putting on some shows. Silly songs and dancing are their favorites. If participating isn’t your thing, they are always thrilled to have more audience members. Our dog, dubbed Sir Licksalot, is also happy that you’re here. Sit down on the couch and he’ll curl up right next to you to get some extra pats. And if you want to spend some time in the back yard playing fetch with him, he’ll be even more thrilled!
This is an extra special year in our home because Hanukkah and Christmas overlap. We celebrate both in our house, and recognize a lot of traditions that represent our rather complicated and blended family. Our menorah is right next to the tree and we love all the festive lights at this time of the year.
The first night of Hanukkah hits on Christmas Eve this year, so we’ll bake some cookies for Santa and then light the menorah. After dinner, we’ll head outside to scatter reindeer food (bird seed and cheerios). I hope you have a good arm – it’s always a challenge to get the reindeer food on the roof! After that important job, we’ll head inside to set out the cookies for Santa and check his progress with the NORAD Santa Tracker. We also leave him a bit of port to warm him up for the last bit of present delivery since we’re one of his last stops. And the reindeer need a few carrots, so we’ll add those to the plate. All the stockings are hung up and ready to be filled. Look! There’s one there for you too! And if you have a partner, we’ll find an extra stocking. Santa visits everyone in the house!
In the morning your holiday sisters will wake everyone fairly early to find out whether or not Santa visited. Once stockings are unpacked, we will have a pancake breakfast. Then we start to welcome the rest of the family. Your holiday grandparents arrive, along with your holiday aunt and her family. We’ll be joined later by close friends. Anyone who needs a place to go is welcome! We’ll open more gifts and then will have a casual day around the house and neighborhood. If the weather is nice, we’ll walk down to the park to play some soccer and throw a Frisbee around. We also have a jigsaw puzzle to put together, games to play, and more of the girls’ shows to watch. The house is filled with wonderful smells and lots of laughter.
For Christmas dinner, we’ll have a lot of choices (we have vegetarians along with omnivores) and dessert is the best, when we have gingerbread made from my grandmother’s recipe and pumpkin pie. Your holiday dad is from England, so we’ll also have plum pudding with brandy butter (which means setting the plum pudding on fire, which is always very exciting for the kids). Another English tradition is the opening of “Christmas crackers” which have small toys, groan worthy jokes, and a paper crown to wear. Yours is there at your place at the table!
After dinner, we’ll light the menorah for Hanukkah night two. Then the guests will head to their own homes and we’ll wind down our celebration for another year, a celebration made even better with you here. Having you in our home has been a gift. We cherish you so much and think that you are perfect as you are. You are exactly who you should be.
So much love to you this holiday season, my holiday child.
Your holiday mom Tatiana