Photo by Regina Charboneau
We Southerners love our traditions old and new.
I love Christmas and all the festivities so much that it begins for me the day after Thanksgiving. I have a standing order with a local vendor, Mr. Whiskers, who always provides me with the most perfect 11-foot tree, which he promptly delivers Friday morning and it all begins. I decorate my tree with every ornament I own including a tradition I began over twenty years ago adding gumdrops, chocolate coins and gingerbread men. As committed as I am to this tradition, Tipsy, our Labrador retriever, usually eats all the gingerbread she can reach by December 1st. I love every minute of the holiday season and every tradition we share at our house and my mother's family home so much so that I hate to see Christmas Day end.
I do not stay sad for long because within a week from the time Christmas ends there are more New Year's traditions packed into a 24-hour period than all of the other traditions during the year. There is kissing at midnight and if your date or spouse is not there for that, they can assure themselves a year of the cold shoulder. The first footing where the person who first steps foot into your home has an effect on your year, I have always been told it should be a tall, dark, and handsome man. That works for me. Then they say (whoever they are) nothing should go out on New Year's Day. All of those are insignificant compared to the menu dos and don'ts in the South.