We live in a multi-cultural household. This year Christmas falls in the middle of Hanukkah.
The Resident Shrink's menorah sits on the entertainment center next to the decorated Christmas tree. Two nights ago, she made latkes for us, as she has for the last several years, in what has become a tradition for us on the second or third night of Hanukkah. Tomorrow, the Rocket Scientist and I will attend a church service in the morning, having muddled our timing tonight so as to miss the eleven o'clock service that we would otherwise have gone to. Christmas Eve church has been a tradition for he and I since before we were married. (It was easier back when I was a Roman Catholic, and Christmas services started at midnight.)
There will be turkey, which is traditional, because I chickened out on my intention to suggest having prime rib for once. There will be cornbread stuffing, and yam casserole, and home-made cranberry sauce. New this year will be roasted red-pepper soup and cranberry-goat cheese tarts.
Traditions change as years go by. The main change in tradition is that no one feels any need to get up before the crack of, oh, eight o'clock.* We're all adults now, and have managed to learn to cope with delayed gratification. In fact, given that RS and I are going to church, we may not even open presents until --gasp! -- close to noon.
It is odd. Something about this Christmas seems melancholy. I think it is because Christmas morning really is for small children, and we don't have any around, and won't, at least for (knock on wood) many years yet.
Traditions seem much more important when you are trying to pass them along.
*Except for those years in which we have really big turkeys, in which case the poor sucker on turkey duty has to get up earlier than everybody else. This year we have a much smaller turkey than usual, so nobody will need to get up at six.