Clay and I have been in a nostalgic mood lately – at least when it comes to this holiday season. We’re making an effort not to focus too much on the gifts receive – although in full disclosure, I am asking for an Apple Watch so please don’t think that I’m putting myself up on a restraint and moderation pedestal. But we are definitely scaling back how we approach Christmas. It’s like we’re experiencing the old-fashioned holiday season we’ve been craving – one filled with family, warm embraces, and a thankful spirit. We may not have a fireplace in our current house but gosh golly, it sure does feel cozy this year.
The four of us have been cuddling on the couch under our favorite soft oversized blanket watching movies. On the drive home from our Thanksgiving holiday in Pennsylvania, we made a list of holiday movies to watch this year – most as a family and a handful for just Clay and I (the kids aren’t quite ready for Die Hard). Included on the list are classics such as Holiday Inn, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Shop Around the Corner – none of which (I’m somewhat embarrassed to type this) we’ve seen in their entirety. After we put the kids to bed the other night, Clay and watched Holiday Inn on Turner Classic Movies. Aside from a shocking (!) musical number in blackface, we enjoyed watching Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sing and dance their way across our screen.
The movie prompted a search of how the celebration of Christmas has changed over time. I stumbled across this article from Professor Arthur Purdue where he explores the fascination with the 18th-century countryside Christmas experience. I also found this Pew Research Center article about how Americans celebrate the holiday season now compared to their childhood. Both are worth a read and prove that we’re not alone in our desire for a less-commercialized Christmas experience.
In effort to capture some of the nostalgic Christmas spirit, we took the kids to the 48th Annual Scottish Walk Parade over the weekend. The sky was overcast and rain fell at various speeds as we watched Scottish clans, bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, dogs, and reenactment groups march through Old Town Alexandria. The weather was reminiscent of the day we spent in Edinburgh a few years ago and as we dined on mussels and steak frites at Columbia Firehouse afterwards, we all agreed that it was the perfect start to December.