Ya know the funny thing is Christin and I plan these writing prompts. We know what the question will be. It’s not like it’s a surprise. Yet here, tonight, I find myself staring at a blank screen. Not for lack of traditions, I just do not know how to narrow it down. They all fit together, neatly wrapped in a pretty red bow. I cannot talk about going to visit the Real Santa, without talking about Coleman’s Nursery. A magical winter wonderland of animated treasures. I cannot talk about visiting Trainland, a collection of trains that would make their way through make-believe neighbourhoods. In the eyes of a little girl, I would picture myself living in the one of the picturesque towns….and I cannot talk about Trainland without talking about the statue of Jesus on the cross, the hot apple cider, Rudolph leaving half of an eaten carrot behind in our living room and Santa taking all the cookies.
For me, there is no specific one tradition. They are all a collective part of each other. Formed perfectly from the magic of the holiday season…and perhaps Santa himself. I had a wonderful childhood. My parents gave me my roots and now I am able to give my children the seeds to plant for their very own magical memories.
One of my favorite childhood Christmas traditions involved the family including my grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins jumping in their cars and driving to an area called Scenic Drive. Scenic Drive was lined with all the large mansions and fancy homes overlooking the Yakima Valley. When I was a kid I referred to this place as the “rich houses”. These houses were straight out of MTV cribs. The “rich people” were obviously rich, therefore they did the best Christmas displays around. It was like entering a real life winter wonderland when you drove down the street. So all the family would line up in a convoy and drive up the hill. Oohing and awwing over the lights while enjoying hot chocolate, huddled in our blankets was such a great memory during my childhood. I have since passed this onto my kids, visiting different light displays each year. Although my house is nowhere near as fancy as those on scenic drive, I enjoy decorating my own house with beautiful Christmas lights each year.