Maybe it's because I studied Medieval History, but some of the traditions I like best from that period spill over into my celebration of Christmas, bracketing more modern traditions.
Like the Winter Solstice, which happens this week, and which we celebrated this weekend with a day out of doors gathering greenery and sledding on the hills behind the house. Then, as afternoon's shadows lengthened we came back in the wagon, the kids singing Jingle Bells and the sound of it ringing off through the glen. We lit up the house with twinkling lights and candles and lanterns, warding off the darkness and decking the halls. And feasting. Always feasting.
We get caught up with Christmas and New Years, which have their own excitement, but I like to do something warm and cosy for Twelfth Night as well. We sing aboutTwelfth Night - a very overlooked tradition - it all the time (The 12 Days of Christmas) but not everyone realizes that the song refers to the days between Christmas (Dec 25) and Epiphany (Jan 6). Traditionally a day of feasting and merriment, we tend to be somewhat bloated from gingerbread men and turkey and trifle, and are more likely to celebrate it with a steaming tureen of soup and a family game of scrabble.