Happy Wednesday! And welcome back! Anyone else stuffed from all that Christmas deliciousness? Christmastime is one of my favorite times of year because, for me, it always meant spending time with the people you love! Given the amount of travel I did this year (for work, as well as four(!) weddings), I chose to stay in Los Angeles this Christmas and start some traditions of my own, while still keeping some of my family’s traditions alive!
Have you ever met other people whose traditions are similar to yours? It’s always fun to see that at its simplest, the holidays are pretty much the same for the families that celebrate them. Sure, each family has its own twist on the holiday season based on how they celebrated it growing up, but in its truest form, there’s gift-giving, delicious food, laughter, and quality time.
One of my favorite traditions growing up was watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” while a fire roared in our fireplace. This Christmas Eve, I got to experience seeing the movie in a new way by viewing it on the big screen with some friends from the improv community at the Vista Theater in Silverlake - a movie theater I took my family to a few years ago so we could all see Guardians of the Galaxy.
I made a joke on Christmas Eve night that “some traditions just won’t Die Hard” as I spent the evening with John McLean in Nakatomi - another tradition I didn’t let go of but altered slightly. Instead of pizza and wings, Carl’s egg nog, and Gram’s martinis, the night consisted of Chinese food and a glass of Highland Park. And after John saved Christmas? Well, a screening of “Love Actually,” of course!
Christmas Day consisted of new, personal traditions, too. Instead of waking up and immediately opening presents, Christmas morning started out with a nice walk with my puppy and a hike to the top of a mountain where I could gaze out over the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles from a place of quiet. I then came home, improvised some silly Christmas parody songs while I made myself an elaborate breakfast, brewed some tea (in good Irish tradition), baked some cookies, and then opened presents while “A Muppet Christmas Carol” played in the background. I FaceTimed my family, texted my friends, played a little piano, and rolled around on the floor with Archy while I sang to her about her Christmas poops.
Christmas dinner was spent with friends that have become like family, drinking wine from NJ that my parents sent me, eating delicious food, and playing one of the dumbest card games I’ve ever played - Exploding Kittens - while also yelling at my friend’s family’s television since the Eagles feel the need to consistently toy with my heartstrings and blood pressure (again, some traditions just won’t quit).
It’s so important to create your own, new traditions while still honoring your favorite ones from home. You may not have east coast pizza and wings, but you can have west coast Chinese food. You might not have the best egg nog on the planet, but you can have an amazing Christmas morning hike. And you might not have 24 hours of "A Christmas Story," but you can have the world's cutest puppy bark at Gonzo on the TV. It can be really easy to focus on the things you’re missing out on, but it’s so much more fun and rewarding to focus on the new traditions you’re creating for yourself!
Did you start any new traditions for yourself this year? If so, what were your favorites? Mine was most definitely my early morning Christmas hike - a new tradition I can’t wait to incorporate into my Christmases for years to come.
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