We have established some new family traditions around Christmas and New Years:
- a family night out to Quincy Market to see the Christmas tree and have some dinner;
- the early-evening fireworks on Boston Common for New Year’s Eve.
These are real, official traditions – we’ve done them for at least two years in a row.
The night at Quincy Market isn’t fancy: a casual stroll around the touristy section of Boston, with some overpriced dinner and maybe some trinkets from the various and sundry vendors. A ride on the carousel, before it closes for the year, is mandatory.
Along with the Christmas tree there is a light show called ‘Blink,’ which plays every hour or so. Music by the Boston Pops is piped in over the loudspeakers.
We chose to stay home for Christmas Day, rather than travelling to Connecticut to join our folks. That is a tradition I can get behind – so much less stress than driving around all day.
We didn’t plan much for the day. We held open the possibility of going to the cinema, but the girls wanted to stay home and watch a movie we got for Christmas (Guardians of the Galaxy). Having a low-stress holiday is refreshing, so unlike the holidays of my childhood.
My folks weren’t thrilled with not seeing us – my father is very resistant to change, and he’s accustomed to hosting the entire family – but we had Christmas Part II on the following Sunday, which was actually pretty fun.
This year Baba (the kids’ name for their grandmother) joined us for the fireworks. We took the train in, ate dinner in the city, and walked to the Common with hot chocolate in hand.
The weather was cold but the sky was clear. The show ran a little long, about 15 minutes, but the kids were thrilled and we all forgot about the cold for a bit.