I don't have a whole lot of holiday traditions. There are a few though. I like driving through the holiday light displays. I'm going to start wearing my ridiculously long goofy santa hat out and about. My friend Scott and I will do our annual 100% tip dine-and-dash**.
Plus, this time of year, I listen to my favorite audiobooks ever.
They're the Belgariad, by David Eddings, as read by Cameron Bierlie. The first of which is Pawn of Prophecy. I love these books. The writing is great, the narration is amazing, and they just feel like the holidays to me. They're the story of Garion, a pot-scrubbing kitchen helper from far-off, misty, Sendaria. He lives with his aunt, who runs the kitchens at a little countryside farm.
She's very motherly with him, and a bit strict in a nurturing way I find very compelling. Garion is quite sure he's the most unimportant person in the world, a total nobody.
But he couldn't be further from the truth.
The Belgariad is his coming of age story, and a great work of high fantasy. Watching Garion grow up, witnessing his aunt (and grandfather's) love for him, is powerful. They're exciting books, filled with heartwarming things. Every time I listen, it's like being back home again, a bit.
** About that dine-and-dash thing...
I'm sharing this because I hope other folks pick up this fun awesome little habit. My friend Scott and I have been friends since college. A few years after graduation, when we started to have the disposable income with which to do it, we invented our own little holiday tradition. Here's what we do:
We find a moderately priced restaurant, someplace where the wait staff are both busy, and have a hard time making ends meet, because since the menu prices are low, the tips will be too.
We go out to dinner, order a full meal, with appetizer, dessert, coffee, tea, whatever. When it's time to pay the check, we do so in cash, and whatever the cost of the bill is, we leave an equivalent amount for tip, a 100% tip. We're really sneaky about it though. We pay in cash, leaving it on the table weighed under a glass or something, and make sure to write them a nice note on the bill, and then before they can see it, we get the hell out of there.
We love doing this. It's super random, and just a nice way to brighten someone's day. That reminds me I need to ping Scott so we can research where and when we want to do this, this year.