Christmas Eve Memory…

A Christmas Eve memory from 2013 when we did not need masks, traveling was not a life risking adventure and Queen E. was still a vibrant presence…

Are we drawn to tradition because we love it or as my mother always says, “It’s the thing to do?!”

Personally, religion is all about the tradition and during the holidays I worship at the altar of a material God…and no, I am not going to engage in a discuss about religion. We all believe what we want to believe…may the force be with you…amen.

Today, I immersed myself in an ocean of tradition.

For the past 2 decades we have chosen to spend Christmas in Florida. We used to throw stupid money at Caribbean vacations over Christmas and equally expensive skiing trips.

When my daughter was very young and we were living full time in California, we would go to New York because Christmastime in Connecticut and New York City is where it’s at.

Now we are mature and realize that Florida has everything we need, plus my mother.

A beautiful, rent free home near the ocean, swimming pool, country club, golf, tennis, running paths and mediocre food…that’s our reason for driving the 45 minutes each way to South Beach for Joe’s Stone Crabs, steaks at Prime 112 and this year, 1500 Degrees in the new revamped Eden Roc where my parents honeymooned 73 years ago.

Today, after an overtime victory by the New York Giants (it looked like another ugly and humiliating, meaningless, NY Giants defeat), we erected our beloved, artificial 3 foot tree that we bought at Target 20 years ago.

The tree is preserved better than some of the seniors floating around Palm Beach even after full on face lifts.

Courtny is a meticulous decorator. Many of the ornaments have sentimental value such as the NY Giants ornament from their first Super Bowl victory, a framed ornament of Courtny at 4 years-old, a tattered angel from 1985, the year of our Messiah’s birth and this year’s newest addition, a lovable snowman complete with carrot nose.

Giants Ornament

We pop open a bottle of French Bordeaux wine and start with the lights, then ornaments, a bit of bells, a sprinkle of garland, tinsel and voila…our non-denominational holiday bush.

We then retreat to our private corners and start wrapping and rappin’ because you cannot do this exhausting exercise in paper and tape without music.

Again, Courtny wins as she packages to perfection, corners like the hospital corners on a Marine’s bed, every package adorned with ribbons. We all proceed with caution on Christmas Day as we hate to contaminate the beauty of the presentation…what’s inside is even better…just like an Oreo cookie.

The packages are laid out with care as not to divulge any hint of the contents.

I LOVE giving. I am like a cavemen…the hunt is almost as delicious as the captured prey. I put much thought into my selections and start in August as the prey is much more abundant in the late summer and early fall.

We leave egg nog and homemade cookies for Santa and retire to a fitful night of eager anticipation. If our posse is not up and positioned by the tree by 7am then we raise the roof.


We stuff stockings to the brim with silly items and new underwear…just in case we have an accident on the way to Christmas night dinner in Miami Beach. We methodically go round and round (Mom, David, Courtny, Toby) until we crescendo with the best gift of this holiday.

Elated, we retire to the kitchen while my mother prepares her traditional matzo meal latkes (delicate, light, melt in your mouth pancakes)…we clean up to the sound of traditional Christmas songs and then hit the beach.

Life is perfect and we adore the tradition.

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