Love Actually – Which Couple Actually Stays Together The Longest? (And Other Christmas Traditions)

Entertainment Weekly has a poll on which of the many inter-connected couples in my favourite Christmas movie, “Love, Actually” actually stays together the longest with Jamie and Aurelia (the writer and his assistant) currently with a comfortable lead of 40% of votes cast.  They did independently decide to learn each others’ language so that’s some pretty big commitment anyhow!

I watch “Love, Actually” every Christmas season sometime in December and that’s one of my main traditions.  We recently had friends over for supper and the conversation turned to other Christmas traditions we had – either as kids or now that we’re adults with families of our own.

Here’s a few…

– in my family growing up, one person (usually one of the kids but not always) would hand out the presents one-by-one with everybody taking time to watch each present being opened.  (It was a shock to the system to take in my first Christmas at Shea’s house where they do much more of an “every man for himself” approach!)

– Santa presents are left in front of the tree already opened/assembled/batteries installed.

– when I was in Indian Head for Christmas in my teen years and for a few years after I graduated, our neighbour across the street (who had two boys of his own) would organize a road hockey tournament that would draw 20-30 people.  Afterward, we’d go to their basement for food, hot chocolate (and later, beer) and to watch the latest Don Cherry video one of them inevitably received for Christmas followed by a screening of “Slapshot”.

– I’m not sure when the Christmas Day nap in the afternoon became a tradition but probably sometime after “having Bailey’s while opening presents” also became part of the tradition.  😉

– I listen to “Fairytale of New York”, pretty much on repeat, through the whole month of December (although “White Wine in the Sun” is quickly replacing it as my go-to melancholy/joyous Christmas favourite.)

– speaking of music, a big part of my childhood was visiting my grandma’s house where she always had a great collection of classic Christmas-themed records that were fun to listen to.

– Christmas stocking contents varied each year but you could count on a Christmas orange, the storybook box of Lifesavers and a pair or socks.

– Growing up, my sister and I were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve though, hand-selected by an adult, it usually turned out to be pyjamas, some other type of clothing or a very simple toy.

– Grandma T.’s got a new one going with Pace that blends Christmas, Easter and uhm, poop.  Her Christmas turkey seems to magically leave chocolate “droppings” around the house in the days leading up to Christmas for Pace to find and eat.

– I always loved (and still do love) any Christmas parties leading up to Christmas – whether it was through the service clubs my mom and dad belonged to or other community ones or whatever.  I have especially fond memories of the ones where there was carol singing (and if you ever see me at a church during Christmas, the chance to sing carols will pretty much be the only reason I’m there.  In fact, a highlight of my life was taking in a carol service at the York Minster when I was in England in 1995 right before I came home for Christmas.)

I feel like I’m missing lots but those are a few off the top of my head…

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