I love Christmas. I don't think I'm alone. I love pulling out each ornament, remembering where I got it, or the story that goes behind the ornaments from years before my memories begin.
I love going to Kuby's, and picking up sandwich meat for our Christmas Eve meal.
Something a little lighter to leave room for a stocking full of candy, and a big Christmas lunch the following day.
I love grabbing cookies at Stein's.
Second ONLY to my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe (thanks to my cousin, this year).
And then there is 'the cup.'
This was the free gift that came with a 25 dollar purchase at Hilo Hattie's in Hawaii. My Mom and I had pulled our souvenirs when we 'earned' this treasure, and we couldn't decide who 'got' to keep this. We've been wrapping it (and adding a small gift inside) and passing it back and forth for more than ten years now. It goes back and forth for each holiday. At some point, as I'm unwrapping gifts I pick up this little cubed box and I re-remember....ugh, it looks like it's my turn.
The thing about traditions, apparently I'm not the only one that has them. Kuby's is standing room only, you have to take a number at Stein's bakery, and there's lines at the restaurants, stores, and specialty shops all over town. But 'our' family traditions make me feel a little closer to people who aren't here anymore that started these traditions. I know in heaven today they enjoyed a feast, maybe exchanged a ridiculous coffee cup, and sprinkled some sugar cookies, and I miss them, but also feel closest to my family, here and away, than any other time of the year.