Traditions are wonderful. Traditions are really special. Some of my Christmas traditions include:
Hmm. Actually, now that i've been sitting here thinking about it, I really wonder if I have that many traditions. There are general things I love to do but I don't know how traditional of a person I am. I love some things but I don't feel crazy obligated to do things again and again. I am willing to mix things up year after year. But I know kids really like traditions (right?) so we try to do things for the lad.
One tradition that I DO hold to, rigidly so, is visiting Trader Joe's around the holidays. Already the most magical place in the land, the delights and whimsy and sparkle and wonder multiply ten fold at Christmastime. Out come the special cookies and goodies by the dozens, out come the Christmas plants, the special cheeses. The way I like to spend this traditional TJ's visit is by basically running up and down each aisle with my arm stuck out stiff and swipe all contents into my cart. It's comical. I chat with the employees and I'm a little embarrassed but not really. One asked me, as I stood staring the all the hummuses,
"do you need any help?"
Me: "Yes, what do I do when I want everything? Plus, look at my cart!" it was already sky high.
He said, "you do have room in your car for it though, right?"
"Oh yes, I'm ok" I replied.
"Because one time we had someone come with so much stuff and a tiny car and we had to seriously tetris everything in."
Which i'm sure they could, because Trader Joe's employees can do anything. When it was my turn to check out the girl at the cashier said to me, "are you ready?" And I said, "I am. Are YOU? Because I"m pretty sure i'm what you've been training for. Your moment has come."
I went around Thanksgiving and already the Christmas goods were out a-plenty and as I stood at the shelf holding all the lovely $1 chocolate advent calendars, a woman came up next to me and started gathering as many as she could.
"Whoa!" I exclaimed. "You know what you want."
She said, "I get these for my nieces and nephews."
I said, "they ARE pretty great. Who doesn't love a chocolate advent? And for only a dolla?"
Our little interchange intrigued two other ladies and soon we had quite a crowd and once again I'm amused by my accidental promotional conversation which happens more often than you would think.
Not only do I love being at Trader Joe's but I love talking about Trader Joe's with others while I'm there. After I had made my selections and had moved on, I passed by again later and saw a woman holding some calendars in her hands and I said/whispered, "Doooo iiiiiit..." She smiled that smile you give to creepy strangers who speak to you unbidden and muttered something about "just deciding which one," like some crazy person. One! ha ha ha, I mentally scoffed while I made my way over to conversate with the free samples employee.
Here's one of the advents we got. And the phrase in the corner made me laugh.
YEAH. Collect the chocolates. That's what I want to do with them. By the way, each chocolate is tiny, like an adorable chocolate charm and shaped like some fun Christmas thing like a train or bell or present--yay! Julian eats his first thing in the morning, as tradition requires.
*I actually am not a big fan of Fiddler on the Roof. Sean can never forgive me.