Story 1: macaroni and cheese
DH and I were married 5 years ago. He has three adult DSs, and I have a 12-year-old DS from previous marriages. Since we married, we've been starting new traditions for our new family. One of them is that we always attend the Christmas Eve service at church after dinner. We then go home, put on our PJs, drink hot chocolate, and watch "A Christmas Story" on TV. When DS was little and still a "believer," this was followed by hustling him to bed and playing Santa with DH.
A few years ago, my stepsons were coming for Christmas Eve dinner, and I decided to add an item to the Christmas Eve tradition: macaroni and cheese. This is no ordinary mac and cheese. It's kind of fancy and a bit of a production to make. The first year I tried this, I worked in the kitchen grating cheese by hand and organizing all the other ingredients. I turned on the oven to preheat, and that's when it happened: The heating element in the oven lit up like firecrackers. I turned the oven off, but it was still sparking. I had to turn the electricity off at the breaker to get it to stop. Now I had a ton of shredded cheese, family arriving soon for dinner, and no oven.
DH spun into action and called the nearby grocery store. The manager there set us up with a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings plus two pies. That took care of Christmas Eve dinner plus some. The day after Christmas, we went out and bought a new stove. The mac and cheese waited until New Year's Eve. And it was still yummy. It also did become our Christmas Eve tradition. DS asks for it every year.
Story 2: If a Christmas tree falls in the living room and no one is there, does it still make a sound?
My freshman year in college, my family put up the Christmas tree during my first weekend back home. It was a Sunday afternoon. My parents bought an enormous tree, and for some reason, they insisted on using the same very small tree stand that they'd always used. My dad struggled with getting the tree into the stand, wrangling and cursing at it. Finally, it was up and ready to be decorated. We spent the afternoon decorating the tree and hanging tinsel all over it.
The next morning, I got up after everyone else had gone to work and school. There was a note on the kitchen table. "Coley, please fix the Christmas tree. It fell last night." I went into the living room, and although someone had put it back up, it was obvious what had happened. The tinsel looked like it had been through a windstorm. Ornaments had fallen off the tree and were all over the place. I spent most of that day putting the Christmas tree back together. First, I had to take all that tinsel off the tree to figure out if ornaments had fallen off the branches or were stuck. The tinsel got all tangled up in the branches when the tree fell. Then I found all the ornaments and put them back on the tree. Then I had to put the tinsel back on. That's the first and only time I have decorated the same tree twice in one year.