Ah, Christmas traditions. The Hunter family has a few, and most I can do without. Like the ginormous polar bear blow-ups on the lawn, or my Hubby dressing up as an elf. (Yep. He really does.) But there is one...a very special one...I couldn't do without.
Every holiday season, the week before Christmas, we pack the kids in the car and head down to Boston. We visit the Frog Pond. We walk the Common and run through the lighted walkways. We pet the police horses, do a little shopping, and of course, grab a Starbucks eggnog latte, or ten. And then we work our way over to the North End, for it's there thatMike's Pastrylives (and can I just say, their pastry is Heaven on earth. Yes. They. Are.)
So, cooler in hand, we buy our Christmas chocolate chip cannoli. Enough for me and Hubby, and one for Santa. Because Santa, he doesn't want stupid cookies. No. He wants chocolate chip cannoli (heavy on the powdered sugar) from Mike's Pastry. Trust me.
And this has been the way, and all has been well—until three years ago, when we walked into Mike's Pastry and there were only 2 chocolate chip cannoli left. Panic erupted. But what can you do? So we grabbed the last two and ran for the New Hampshire border.
That night, as we set out the milk and carrots, my youngest son looked at me, concerned.
"What are we going to do? We don't have enough cannoli for you and DadandSanta."
I turned, pulled the box out of the fridge, and handed it to him. "Here," I said. "Dad and I don't need them. Santa can have both."
That's when a blood-curdling shriek erupted from Hubby, and he flew into the kitchen and snatched the box out of his child’s hands.
"You can't do that!" he said. "You can’t waste our cannoli on Santa Claus like that!" He spun and thrust them back into the refrigerator. "Santa will just have to find his own cannoli. These are mine!"
Anyway, I recovered the cannoli from the fridge. We left it for Santa, and he was incredibly pleased with our sacrifice and generosity. And Hubby, well, I figure one of these days maybe someone, like me, should take pity on him and have "The Talk" with him. He's getting a bit old for this...
Or maybe not. Because I love that man. I do. So much. For being so wonderful and kind and believing in magic long after others have grown cynical to life. Lonnnngggg after. So I don't have the heart to explain it.
And really, maybe it's better that way.
After all, it was those cannoli, and his reaction, that were the spark of inspiration for my first holiday romantic comedy, Seriously Serendipity. So I can never tell him now.
So, you tell me—what’s your best, or craziest (!) holiday tradition? Meanwhile, I wish you all a Christmas in July filled with love and hope and faith and magic and the knowledge that sometimes it's just okay to believe long after others have stopped. I wish you all lots of chocolate cannoli too. Especially me. I wish it on me. A lot.
(Check out the HEA blog, where this guest blog originally appeared.)