One of the first things I did when I arrived back home was decorate the Christmas tree with my mom and dad. Some people have a theme or a certain color scheme to their trees but not our family. Ours is a display of various ornaments collected over the years. My mom started a new tradition of purchasing ornaments that symbolize all the countries I’ve gone to. They were a nice addition to the tree. The finished project was quite pretty.
Christmas parties are also common during the holidays. There’s always good food to be had and it’s a great way to catch up with old friends and family. My friend Mark threw one in New Orleans which was attended by many of my university friends. I also went to a couple family parties in which I got to watch younger cousins open their presents from Santa or other family members. It was a great way to catch up with everyone that I’ve missed seeing over the years.
In the morning, we woke up to exchange gifts. When my sister and I were younger, we would set an alarm for 3AM to get an early peek at the goodies that Santa brought for us. We’d then wake up again around 6 and pull our parents out of bed. They lovvved that. This year, we needed coffee before any of the gift opening could begin. Funny how things change over time.
Christmas was pretty hectic so when New Year’s came around, I decided to opt out of the all-night partying and hung out at home with my parents. We watched movies and it was great. Mom made a traditional New Year’s meal the following day consisting of cabbage, corn bread, corned beef, and black eyed peas. I think is a Southern thing but each food is supposed to bring you a certain fortune for the new year. The internet produced conflicting answers but it seems that most people believe that the beans stand for coins, the greens for ‘folding money’, the cornbread for luck, and the meat for looking forward.