Christmas Traditions: Old and New
While the majority of the year I dream and plan about where I am going next, there is one time of the year when I completely content staying home: the holidays. That is not saying that I do not wish to visit the European Christmas Markets one year or spend New Years somewhere exotic (because I most definitely do), but there is something about the holidays that grounds me and keeps me close to home. Part of it is the desire to spend time with family and friends, part of it is celebrating my favorite traditions. Traditions are intertwined with the holidays for me and while there are some that are ingrained in my holiday season, there are new ones that arise each year. This past week I had the pleasure of reliving one of my favorite Christmas traditions along with the addition of a new experience.
OLD TRADITION: CHRISTMAS POPS AT SYMPHONY HALL
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been attending the annual Christmas Pops performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra, which is the Boston Symphony Orchestra minus its principal players. Currently in its 133rd season, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the United States’ five major symphony orchestras and sets a standard for orchestras worldwide. The Christmas Pops is a lighter version of their typical set and this year included new takes on classics such as The Twelve Days of Christmas, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Joy to the World while delighting the audience with the traditional Hallelujah Chorus and A Christmas Scherzo. The Polar Express was narrated with the orchestra playing along to the story to end the first half and Conductor Keith Lockhart took us through A Merry Little Sing-Along to conclude the night. It was the perfect way to celebrate the Christmas season with friends and continue one of my favorite and oldest Christmas traditions.
NEW TRADITION: CHRISTMAS TEA AT THE FOUR SEASONS
On my travel wish list is to have afternoon tea in England someday, but until then I needed to hold myself over with a more local experience. A lifelong lover of tea and its tradition, my grandmother has always been someone with whom I would love to share the experience. Luckily for me, I got to accompany her, my mom and my aunt at Christmas tea this year at the Four Seasons. The dining room was decorated festively and we were seated directly in front of the fireplace on a cold, snowy Sunday. All around us, families gathered to enjoy the Christmas season in a similar way and children, accompanied by their teddy bears, participated in the Teddy Bear Tea. After selecting the apple berry tea, a tray was brought over with a selection of sandwiches and desserts. Among my favorites were the cranberry scones, the bite-sized shrimp sandwiches and the gingerbread whoopie pies. I do not see this being the last time I do tea, especially at Christmastime. Another wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season with family!
So while I may be venturing out to find some new Christmas experiences next year, there are some old traditions that will remain. For the time being though, I am perfectly happy spending the next week with family and friends, enjoying new and old traditions alike!
Do you have old or new traditions that you have celebrated this holiday season?