All this week, the Riskies have been talking about the upcoming holiday season: How to deal with it, what they like about it, what they don’t like about it (Janet is our resident Scrooge, it seems, but she does enjoy a good concert).

On Monday, Diane brought up traditions, and I’d like to do the same. I grew up in an unconventional household (albeit with the requisite mother and father, no siblings), and our Christmases were . . . odd. Instead of traditional Christmas ornaments, my mother decorated our tree with seashells and porcupine fish she’d spraypainted gold and silver and decorated with rhinestones. We wrapped our gifts in newspaper and magazines, not wrapping paper, and our notes always had a stealthily-embedded clue as to what the gift was inside (my mother, however, was frequently Master of the Obvious, addressing presents of socks to me as “To Megan, From her feet.”)

I didn’t know any different, so when my boyfriend (now husband) started dating, I did what I’d always done at Christmas: Decorate my tree with random fun items, wrap in paper, write silly notes. I thought everybody did that.

Apparently not. My husband’s family is EXTRA-traditional when it comes to Christmas, which means the ornaments are perfect, the wrapping paper is Hallmark and there are no funny edges where the paper didn’t quite meet, and the notes are addressed “To Megan, Love Scott.”

In case you couldn’t tell, I do miss the funkier Christmas of my youth, but I’ve grown to love my in-laws’ traditional celebration (especially the HANDMADE DONUTS ON CHRISTMAS EVE!). When my son gets a little older, though, I’m going to get some seashells and start writing some sly notes on his gifts.

Do you have any idiosyncratic holiday celebrations? How do you feel about trying to introduce new traditions to your family? And can you believe THANKSGIVING IS NEXT WEEK?!?