Christmas Traditions Old and New

My Decembers were always filled with shopping for the perfect gift, enjoying local parties and sites of New York and creating the perfect Christmas card. I often say, I don’t know how I worked full time and did all of the above plus cooked Christmas Eve and Christmas day dinner. While I objected to hosting both holidays, I recently found out my kids have fond memories of those dinners and have created their own tradition by replicated mine. They cut down the tree, cook fish on the eve and play Christmas songs by Mitch Miller (not one of my favorite singers but never the less, it is a memory).

This year, I am turning the reign of Christmas day to my son Anthony and his family to host the dinner. I am thrilled. That leaves only the tasks of finding the perfect gift, creating the card, taking trips to NY and seeing my friends at parties. Shopping trips usually ends up with me buying things for myself. I always finding the perfect gift for me. Online shopping is very specific. You have to know what you want before you start. I never do

Then there is the fun stuff – going to the parties and New York City.  Christmas is the time to see the neighbors before they either hibernate for the winter or take off to warmer weather. I love the community parties as they do not require a long drive and I’m home safe within minutes.

It’s not Christmas without going to NYC. Whether it is just to see the tree or take on a new experience, it is required. I’m proud that this year’s tree came from Newburgh in my Orange County, NY. It should be mandated that the tree always come from some where in NY State.

This year’s new NY experience was on a self-invented pub crawl. Not to be confuse with that sophomoric, drunken incident called SantaCon, my pub crawl has purpose and is a finer way of touring Christmas in the city. It started downtown at Fraunces Tavern, the oldest tavern in NYC and where Washington said goodby to his troops. Every Sunday, a trio play Irish music. I’m a sucker for the fiddle. Next stop was Oscar Wilde’s Tavern. Fittingly located on the former site of  NYC’s Bureau of Prohibition, the bar made the cut because of its extensive Victorian Christmas decor. The crawl ended at one of my favorite places, the Bryant Park Grill. Not to be missed is the Christmas market in the park. The trick to a pub crawl is to have just one drink at each place and walk a lot in-between.

And finally, my tradition of writing cards. I agonize over having the perfect photo of the whole family. This year, I was lucky that my daughter Christine came up from Florida and I was able to get us all together for the shot. The second challenge was getting my two-year old grandson to a) sit still for the picture and b) smile. His father, Anthony, came up with the idea of putting a silly toy on top of the camera which made us all smile – brilliant! Thanks to my son Thomas for his photography talent and behold the 2018 Christmas Card!

Family 2018

Merry Christmas to all with peace love and happiness in 2019!!

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