It is a lovely Krissmiss season here.  We miss Smidge, who is off in MN with her bestie, Voir de Wizzy, but all the others have gathered round to celebrate the season.  Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, which was brought in by the lighting of the yule log and solstice candles, and Sunday is Krissmiss day.

This year, we decided that it’s not about the day, it’s about the people.  Since the Beans’ youngest lives nearby, she and her two little Beans have been invited to celebrate with us.  They had their own special time scheduled for “THE DAY” but are coming here on Monday, the day after, which is now our designated day.

Whether you celebrate Krissmiss, Chanukah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, or some other winter holiday, it’s always about family and the special traditions that are yours.  At our house, we put up a tree, but alternate between a large one decorated with the Bean’s childhood ornaments and a small tree with just lights and twisted tin icycles, also from her childhood.  This year, it’s the little tree.  It’s all shiny and bright, and to me, the size doesn’t matter: they are all giant!  Can you see me down there, in front of a package and next to the elf, who’s giving me a funny look?

We open presents on Krissmiss morning, but not until after breakfast and the shoe gifts.  Most kids hang stockings, but we put out shoes.  Even the Grups put their shoes out before going to bed the night before.  While we sleep, the elves fill them up with little gifts and candies, just like Santa fills stockings. It is a merry time to open the shoe gifts.  Even better is that on New Year’s morning, no matter where the shoes or slippers were when we went to bed , we wake up to see they have been filled again, and each one has a special new year’s dime that we must save all year long to ensure that we always have enough money.  My Bean has dimes from her mother’s childhood as well as from her own.

Foods play an important part in the family celebrations.  Our Krissmiss dinner is almost a replica of Thanksgiving most years, but the Bean has made some alterations this year, and so it’s going to be a little different.  Usually she goes for the world’s biggest turkey, but this year she’s calling it the Tiny Tim Turkey – so little.  It’s still more than enough, and although we love turkey, at least we won’t be eating it through the new year!  She said we could have that green bean casserole again, though, with homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, carrot soufflé, rolls, butter, pie, and a bunch of homemade candies to tide us over and ensure a sugar high for all, as the Bean says.

But whatever your traditions are, no matter how elaborate or simple, I know they are special to you.

May your holidays be Merry and Bright.

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