Tradition is a word used a lot this time of the year. Obviously people have traditions during different times of the year, but Christmas is so big that it’s hard for anyone one year to just be like, “Oh, I think I’ll skip everything about Christmas this year.” It’s not like in the movies where the hard-working, non-observant parent tells the kid they won’t be home for Christmas and the squirt whines, “But it’s a traditioooonnnnn.” Even my helluva-inconsistent family keeps some things sacred in December.
For a few good years now, my family and I have had the tradition of, after Christmas Eve service at my church, getting Tomaso’s Pizza and watching a movie together. The pizza, I’m sure, is just so that my mom doesn't have to cook/put anything from the freezer in the big, hot box in the kitchen I don’t go near, but the movie is just something to keep the fam together for a little while during the most hectic season of the year.
These movies rarely have anything to do with the next day, although I’m pretty sure what we had in mind when this tradition was made is that every year it would be a Christmas movie. (But frankly, the only two holiday movies we owned would’ve gotten old very quickly). Since we usually need a consensus on the choice of movie, it can definitely take a while to choose one. (Ah, the traditional Christmas Eve pre-movie fight.)
A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (both eighties movies that my parents swore were the bee’s knees when they showed us that were really just weird, if not slightly disturbing and awkward) were included in the first few years, I think. After that we ventured out to Over the Hedge, Wall-E, and Up. This isn’t a time for hard-hitters, but it’s still nice for us to all sit together and all of that sappy shit. Also, the fact that we’re pretty much just sitting and staring at a screen drastically minimizes the chance we’ll start fighting. After the movie ends everything is free game, though. (Ah, the traditional Christmas Eve post-movie fight.)Traditions are a pretty awesome thing. They let us reflect on the good times we’ve had and, for all of you obsessive-compulsives out there, set up a pattern that shouldn’t be messed with. Otherwise you get things like silver Christmas trees, which are just a crime against nature.