Traditions

 If you know me at all, you know that my family is a little crazy (in a sitcom kind of way, I think). I’m the oldest of six,* which is enough crazy in and of itself; the other eccentricities are just the cherry on top. But despite the crazy, my mom (a.k.a. the glue that holds us all together) has managed to maintain some semblance of tradition throughout the years.
 And what better time for traditions than Christmas?
We always decorated the tree together and listened to Boney James’ Funky Christmas. It always looked atrocious, and mom always fixed it after we went to bed. 
We weren’t allowed to come downstairs until everyone was awake, but that rule was later revised to specify “not before 7AM” (apparently dragging your younger siblings out of bed at 6 in the morning is unacceptable). 
Once I was older and had a TV in my room, my brothers would camp out with me and watch the A Christmas Story marathon until Santa finished wrapping presents in the wee hours of the morning (procrastinator). Then, we’d sneak down the steps to size up the goods. 
We always woke up to cinnamon rolls in the oven, and Mom videotaped us** as we opened our presents. We’d stash away our loot, and head to Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner.
And then my parents divorced.
And then I moved out.
And then I got married.
And then my dad moved to Florida to become a scuba diver. You can’t make this stuff up.
But through divorces and the economy and all of the crazy, one thing remains: tradition. No matter what happens from one year to the next, I want Landon to know that he can count on a few small things: 
We’ll always hang red, glitter-glued stockings and blast Christmas jams while we decorate the tree. It will probably look atrocious, and I’ll probably fix it after you go to bed.
We’ll always eat bagel bites while we watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Someday you’ll wonder how bagel bites have anything to do with Christmas, and I’ll direct you to your father because I’d like to know the answer to that one myself.
 And the newest Kozlowski family tradition– we’ll always read How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Christmas Eve. Good choice, little man. Merry first Christmas.
—-
*Seven, including my step-brother, because “the only steps in this house are the ones that take you upstairs.” [Scuba Dad, circa 1996]
**The year one of my brothers (who was seven, at the time) asked for a real banjo and received a plastic one instead was probably the best Christmas meltdown video of all time.
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