Town Traditions: Walking, Watching, Wishing


I am a lover of traditions. I drive my better half mad with my desire to add or enhance holiday traditions each year, which can become excessive. My parents gifted me their love of the holidays. Holiday traditions became important markers of occasions and opportunities to celebrate and commemorate family. So it was no surprise to me that when I had my own children I wanted to provide them with experiences that captured the spirit of the season. To soak up their innocence and joy through the telescope of tradition is priceless.

Enter town. If you've read my previous posts it's no secret that I'm having a love affair with our town this December. I am crazy in love with Madison. As I've said before, it's my own version of Bedford Falls.

Each December 1st marks a tradition for my family. My mother began this holiday of sorts by gifting us a seasonally themed item that helps foster our festive mood.  Santa socks, lights, and pajamas are just a few of the things I've received over the years. I love December 1st. For me, it sets the standard of the season. It's light, fun, and familial. In essence, it's everything I need.

This year I wanted to make Madison a part of my December 1st tradition. Post nap, I bundled up the girls, set up the stroller, and told them we were headed to town. As we walked to see Santa it became clear that my toddler, while a fan of him from a distance, was not going to be a willing participant in the visit. A true professional, the Madison Santa recognized her apprehension and came out to say hello. While she might have offered him no signs of approval, she remarked about his niceness on the way home. Santa, you're a gem.

After we saw the sights at the Santa village we took some time to bask in the glory of our town tree. Guys, I sound like a broken record but these simple activities are golden for the little ones. We stared at the tree for a good ten minutes. Only at the promise of pizza could we go on our merry way.

From there, we stood in the streets and wandered window to window taking in the holiday displays each store so creatively crafted. On the way home we walked by houses illuminated with lights and sang Christmas carols to ourselves. It was the perfect day.

The perfect day became the perfect night when my husband gifted me a Madison Mug purchased at the Madison pharmacy. If Madison is my Bedford Falls than Madison Pharmacy is my The Shop Around the Corner.

Do you know what made our walk and wanderings perfect? The sights and sounds of other families doing the very same.

I thought it couldn't get better but yesterday we made our way to the YMCA tree lot. What's better than your toddler wishing the mayor of town a Merry Christmas as the world's most polite teenage boy helps tie your tree to the car?  For me, simple acts and gestures outweigh the extravagance or extremities of the world.

If you're looking for more holiday traditions consider places and people in our town who can be a part of the magic. While there's so many fun and festive things to do, my sweet girl said it best, "I like walking, watching, and wishing around town, mommy."

I'm off to wrap presents. I hope there's a bow big enough for you, Madison.