Besides all the usual stuff you do with your family or friends or just because every one does it, I have some private, typically Lisal style traditions, that I take care of very carefully each year. Or almost. And as I am getting older, I love them even more.
1.) The tree
I buy a (real) christmas tree each year. It is a small one, and it is always a loooong procedure to find the right one with the perfect dimensions. It must be small, but not to narrow spaced between the branches, it has to have a beautiful top and of course a wonderful color. I put it onto a small table and an insane number of balls onto it, from big to very small, but only in a creamy golden color, and it is topped with a satin bow. I also love a chain of lights because then I don’t have to be careful when the tree gets older. It gets ready on the 23rd with christmas music a la “All I want for christmas” and all my presents are placed underneath it before I take a picture. And they stay there until I meet the person they belong to. I only skipped the tree twice since I moved out, in the first year (because I moved into my flat on the 23rd of december and in the year when I spent new years eve in Dubai, since I was too cool to have one).
2.) The christmas cold cuts
This is a true childhood memory. In Austria they sell sausage with christmas motifs on it. Trees, bells, parcels. It actually doesn’t taste too good and it is rather greasy – something I would never ever buy during the rest of the year. But on christmas I just have to have it.
3.) The movie
I usually don’t watch TV on christmas day too much. But the Muppets Christmas Carol is a must. It is my absolutely favourite version of this old story, especially because of Rizzo the Rat, Gonzo and Kermit (including Tiny Tim). Usually I hate movies where they start singing, but this one is a real exception. As a kid I was scared by the story with the ghosts, but since I know this version I just love it. “The Marleys where dead to begin with. As dead as a doornail.”
4.) The christmas run
For some years now I love to do a little run along the Danube or wherever I am. Just to finally calm down and let all the stress flow away from me. It is of course a lot better when there is snow, but also if not, it is just a perfect way to relax.
5.) The huge crossword puzzle
I have to be honest, I don’t always do it. But when I could grab the biggest Upper Austrian Newspaper then I love to do it at least on the 26th. When I don’t have any more family visits and a lot of time on the couch. I am not patient enough to fully solve it, but I love filling the gaps too much to not start it ;-)
What are your very own traditions?