My Two Favorite Christmas Traditions
The thing I remember most about the cold, snowy winter, and Christmas, is putting up the Christmas tree with my mom and all of my cats. Of all the traditions I share with my family, my two favorites are putting up the tree and trying to bake.
Months before Christmas, I would ask, “Mom, can we put up the tree yet?” And every year she would say the same thing.
“We can put it up when it gets closer to Christmas,” she would say in a leave-me-alone kind of tone, and sometimes I could actually feel the frustration in her voice. It was the same attitude when I asked to open a present early, because most of the presents were under the tree long before the holidays.
Putting up the tree is my favorite part of Christmas, because I get to spend a lot of time with my mom. The first thing we have to do is get the tree out of the garage. We have used the same plastic tree every year. When we take all of the boxes down from the top shelves of the garage, they are dusty— so dusty that I could write my name on the boxes with my fingers.
The first thing we put on the tree is the lights. We have to remember to turn them off at night, or it makes the living room smell like burning plastic when the lights touch the green plastic tree. Next, we put on beads of all different colors and sizes. It is hard not to get them tangled up with the lights, but my mom and I have become experts at it. After getting the beads all the way to the top of the tree, we put on all the decorations with hooks. Most of the decorations that we put on the tree are things that I have made in school. Some are gifts from my grandma that she bought from different parts of the world, and some are just store-bought red and green balls. The very last thing we place is an angel dressed in purple, with a silver halo. It goes on the very top point of the tree. When we are done, we stand back and watch the tree glow with all the different decorations that took so long to put on.
Between the time I ask my mom to put up the tall plastic evergreen we use every Christmas and the time my mom says “yes” to actually putting it up, I don’t do anything except try to bake. The cookies I made usually turned out a greenish color — good for Christmas, but I would have been happier to have had red and green cookies. The smell was so sugary, and so was the taste. If you even took one bite it would have made you sick in five minutes.
One Christmas, I was trying to make muffins for my whole family and a few of my friends. I put a lot of effort into making the muffins. I even tried using a recipe, and I don’t do that very often because I like to create and combine ingredients in a creative way. But when I was making these muffins, I thought it would make a bigger batch if I put more of each ingredient into the recipe. Thinking about that now, it was not one of my best ideas— definitely not one of my best ideas. After many attempts, I am sorry to say, I never got it right. The only thing that was good about my mistakes was, one of the batches was unlike any other. I made it so wrong that I could throw a muffin on the floor and it would jump up like a bouncy ball. However, after that batch, there were unfortunately no more eggs, milk, flour, or sugar left in the house. Another bad thing caused by my need to try and bake was that the kitchen smelled worse than when my mom would make Brussels sprouts in a pan. At last I gave up, and my mom went to the store and bought cookie mix. I tasted the cookies I made from the mix and decided that they were better than anything I had made from scratch.
Since Christmas is coming up soon, I will most likely do the same thing I always do, but with one difference. This time, I am sure that I will bake everything correctly so my mom doesn’t have to get store-bought muffins or cookies.