The first is the annual trip to Wal-Mart to buy poinsettias. Early in December, our Wal-Mart store has them for $10, in many different colors. And they're HUGE!
I would say this one is at least 2 feet across.
I'm sure they're a loss leader, but I just go in early in the morning, buy my poinsettias, and leave. One I take to church--that's the Grandma and Grandpa poinsettia. We used to sign up to purchase one in honor or memory of someone--now they ask everyone to pick out a poinsettia and drop it by the church, so there are all sizes and not just red ones. It's not quite as impressive as a uniform bank of red ones, but probably easier for the church. And I think of my parents and Bruce's parents when we see it during advent.
The other poinsettia goes by the hearth in our living room, where it looks great through the whole Christmas season, then survives until mid-January when I get sick of it and toss it on the compost.
The other tradition is going to the Indian Creek Nature Center Christmas sale, Nature's Noel, with my friend Anne. She invited me last year with the caveat that she likes to get there early--to be the first in line!
So we get there at 8:15 and stand in line until they say we can go make our purchases. Then we RUN over to where they have the kissing balls hanging and pick out the one we like. You have to get there early to get one--they're sold out within minutes. Here's the one I got this year.
Nature's Noel also has wreaths, roping, decorated yule logs, arrangements, and, inside, food items.
It's a very festive time--it snowed last night!--and it's fun to do just about anything with Anne, so I think I want Nature's Noel to be a tradition!