Tag Archives: Traditions


I hope that when my boys look back on the holiday season, or really their childhoods in general, that they remember fondly and treasure the traditions that we’ve created for them.

While there is something to be said for being spontaneous and trying new things, there are definitely some steadfast traditions that we like to hold true each year….especially this time of year.

The boys know that on Thanksgiving night we make popcorn and hot chocolate, spread out sleeping bags, and watch The Polar Express.  They know that within the next two days we’ll head to the Beverly Tree Farm and cut down our tree. They also know that we won’t leave there until they’ve tolerated a mini photo shoot.   They know that one day in very early December, if not earlier, a white star will suddenly be lit near the train bridge and they’ll get the warm fuzzies when it is first spied each year!  They know that we’ll be watching Santa arrive on the Freemantle Doctor from right under the hoist on T-Wharf and they walk to that spot automatically the first Saturday of December each  year.  They know that later on that evening will be the tree lighting at Dock Square, there will be a trip to Tuck’s to buy one treat, and then we’ll head home to decorate our own tree. The boys know that there will be fried dough on Christmas morning and that my mom will arrive later with a coffee cake that is always still warm….just like the one that she made each year when I was little (Tradition). They know that after opening presents we go downtown to the tree and say “thank you” to Santa for the gifts he left for us. They know also to thank the police officers on detail Christmas Day and to always shake their hands.

They know the Santa mugs will come out to drink from for the month of December and that one will get filled with milk to sit alongside some cookies and carrots.  They know in the morning they’ll find little pieces of carrot left on the side deck from those messy reindeer.  There will also be a sleigh bell in their stockings.

Sprinkled into the “givens” are the less consistent holiday activities. Usually a trip to Boston, but always for different reasons.  There will be at least one night of driving around with cocoa to see holiday light displays near and far.  Some years we’ve trekked to Santa’s Village….other years to Edaville Railroad.  Other years neither…especially with hockey in full-swing.

And then….then, there’s the Curtis Family Countdown.  We’ve looked forward to watching the days tick down from their front yard display on Main Street each December day for the last few years.  It is a true sign that Christmas is on it’s way.  I blogged about it last year so that you could all make a point to drive by and see how wonderful it is.


If I remember correctly, it usually begins right after Thanksgiving. So…you can imagine how off-kilter we felt when December began and there was no countdown.  December 1st…nothing.  Wait.  What?Then December 2nd.  Nothing.  And even, the horror, December 3rd. It was time we take matters into our own hands.  You can’t mess with tradition after all.

So, we did this.

Dear Sean,
While we could probably just do the math, it is truly much more entertaining to drive by your house each morning and night to see the Countdown to Christmas. I know that you are really busy…so this is what we’ve decided to do. If it isn’t up by Sunday morning, I will leave Thatcher and Finn with you aaaaaaall day long to help you out. (How’s THAT for motivation)
Just kidding.  Kind of.
The Schrafft Family

In return, later on the same day, we got this….

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Send your kids over, Nichole, they can do the lights on the rest of the house.

He decided to do the lights himself when I readily agreed to drop the boys off to do the rest of the lights while I took his wife out for some drinks.

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Thanks again to the Curtis Family for helping to create lasting traditions.  Thank you for making time to set up that display so that undoubtedly many children can drive by each day and see how many days are left until Christmas! It means a lot to us…and I’m sure we’re not alone in that.

The Great Christmas Light Fight

We have several holiday traditions.  Some are silly and some are really, really special.

One of the sillier ones started last night….the 3rd season of The Great Christmas Light Fight.

The boys LOVE to hunker down with some cocoa and popcorn and watch the 4 families compete with pretty fantastic holiday light displays.  The boys continued to love it even after they realized it wasn’t going to be a show with families chucking holiday lights at each other….as the title evidently led them to believe.

We love “getting to know” the four families, seeing where they live, and hearing their stories.  We love seeing them come together and work so hard to make their magic happen.  We love guessing Who Will Win.

While it’s no, It’s a Wonderful Life, it works for us.

Check it out if you have some time to kill….if nothing else, it’ll help bring the holiday season to your living room.





St Joseph’s Pasta Making Photo Dump

Hour 6 and Still Going Strong: