The turkey has been consumed and the shopping has started. Yes you may start listening to Christmas music now. With the Christmas season here, our minds start looking spending time with family and friends, opening gifts and experiencing the annual family traditions. Christmas time when I was growing up meant spending a lot of time in the store. My parents owned a electronic retail business and Black Friday meant as much then as it does now to businesses. You just didn’t have the mad rush when the doors opened and people fighting over gifts. But I do remember the year then the Atari 2600 was crazy popular and us getting a shipment of refurbished models in. We were expecting them in at any time and people were asking us all the time when.
But when the shopping season was over on Christmas Eve, I knew what that meant also. It was time to go to my grandparents’ house for gift exchange and spending time with dad’s family. You could always count on a couple of things. One was my grandfather getting some kind of nut cracker and maybe even some walnuts to go with it and two, him opening every gift ever so gently with a pocket knife. He would just cut the tape holding the gift wrap together. For small kids, that would just drive us crazy. All of us yelling, papaw, just rip it open. I think he did that just to drive us all crazy.
Now as a husband and a parent, we have our own traditions that we have started. Every year at some point during the Christmas season means a trip to Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park. Every year we drive through the lights and see what’s been added and to see if anything has been removed. They make changes every now and then. One section of lights is an old bank building with the name of a bank that used to be in Lexington. Once the bank was sold, they took out the name for a while. At least I think they did. But I think they have since put it back.
The boys love going. They love seeing the lights and listening to the Christmas music they play over the radio. Once we are done with the lights, then we go inside and see all of the crafts they have setup along with the model trains. The local model train group sets up every year in one building or another and the boys love watching them. But the highlight of the night has to be Santa Clause and funnel cake. The night is not over until we accomplish those two items. The wait for Santa there is nothing like the mall by the way. The funnel cake is the last item on our list. Once the cake has been inhaled, and I do mean inhaled, it’s time to leave.
It’s these things that make Christmas special. Not what you get for whomever or what they got for you. The boys always remember going to see the lights. I don’t know if I could remember half the gifts I ever got for Christmas growing up. But I can remember what my grandfather got. Why? Because it was the time together as a family.
We have somewhat started a new tradition for Thanksgiving. A couple of years ago, we decided to go to Cumberland Falls for dinner instead of having my mom fix a big meal. I know for my boys, this is the thing to do. Last year we added a hike but I think this year the weather will keep us from that. The boys love going to the lodge and hanging out waiting to go eat.
So, what is your favorite Christmas tradition? Leave me a comment and let me know.