Christmas memories flood my mind this time of year. Sometimes these floods drown me with the tired thoughts of a lazy youth. I always thought Black Friday had such a ominous name because of the work that our Mom put us through in putting up the Christmas decorations. Second, it was one of few days I got off from school that I didn't get to sit around in my underwear playing video games. Every year I dreaded the thought of holding heavy green garlands for hours above my head, with sweat-shop like fingers pulling on the trigger of the staple gun, only to misfire because you didn't get enough of the garland spine to pin it above the fireplace.
Then there were the outside lights. To save us from the frustration of garland draping with my Mom, the boys would collectively drag their feet and hang lights on the outside roof all day to save us from wrath of Mom's seemingly innocent question of, "Could you help me for a sec?" The outside lights were the lesser of two evils, but it did allow us to climb on the roof and break broken light bulbs.
This year and every year since we've been married, Heather has put up the Christmas decorations with little, if any help from me. It is so nice to come home from work and have a beautiful tree completely set up with presents beneath it and not one garland hanging in our apartment reminding me of ghosts of Christmases past.
One Christmas memory that Heather had with her Mom is making chocolates in the wee hours of the morning. I've always wondered why they call it the "wee hours" of the morning because at 4 a.m. I don't think there are too many saying WWWEEEEEEEEE!!! Heather continues this tradition of making chocolates but she sticks to her favorites like haystacks, which are crushed toasted coconut mixed with bittersweet dark chocolate.
As we start our own family, we are looking to pick up new traditions to do each year so that our kids will remember how weird we were. Neither of us took a picture with Santa regularly when we were growing up, but from how giddy Heather is, maybe we should have. This is about a split second before Molly burst out in tears after Santa told her she's getting coal. (Heather's terribly embarrassed by this photo, but I thought we could all use a good laugh and included it.)
Another tradition we could take up is seeing the lights at Temple Square. The lights were beautiful, but with Molly crying the whole drive there, the temperature being in the mid teens and tons of people with no parking, we might reserve the right to veto this one next year.
Christmas parties have always been a holiday staple at the Williams home. But luckily we were fortunate enough to have great friends invite us over for treats and games.
As I mentioned earlier, when I was a kid on days off we sometimes would sit around in our underwear playing video games. Maybe we'll just keep the video game part of that tradition, although you can see a little bit of my underwear when we were playing Dance Central on XBox Kinect.
On a different night, we had a progressive dinner where each dinner guest hosted a course of the meal, moving from one apartment to the next. The food was delish but the company was better.