Watching "White Christmas" With My Mom Is the Holiday Tradition We'll Never Give Up

"Those who've seen us know that not a thing could come between us."

White Christmas Cast
Photo: John Swope / Getty Images

My family isn't one with a million holiday traditions. We don't eat the exact same menu every Easter. We swap who hosts on Thanksgiving, and which Christmas mass we attend changes with our schedules. Sure, traditions are an amazing way to bond and create family memories. Still, too many traditions can make them seem less special and lead to burnout, or worse, resentment (Does anyone really want to wear those family Christmas pajamas past a certain age?).

Even though we don't make our holiday plans based on what we've done in the past, the traditions we do take part in mean a lot to us. We make Italian Cream Cake for Christmas in honor of my grandmother's heritage, and we make Bunny Cake on Easter in honor of my mom's childhood. (clearly love cake, regardless of the occasion). One tradition I'll never give up? My mom and I watch the movie White Christmas together every holiday season.

I'm not sure when this ritual began—no landmark inaugural viewing occurred. But since whenever that was, we've accidentally made it a tradition. I'm not one for Hallmark Christmas movies (I know, I'm sorry, everyone!), but I love the classics. And from the first time I watched White Christmas, I was enamored. How could you not be in love with this movie between Vera-Ellen's dance skills, Bing Crosby's voice, and the to-die-for costumes? Even though I roll my eyes at cheesy commercials and sentimental posts on social media, there's something about White Christmas that brings out my sappy side, and my mom and I both lean into it.

Christmastime gets me in a warm and fuzzy mood anyway, so add a nostalgic movie, cozy pajamas, and my mom, and my heart grows three sizes. No way anyone, even with a Grinch-size heart, could watch White Christmas and resist singing along to "Sisters." We snuggle up with a cup of hot tea or glass of wine, and for a few hours, we transport to a world without Instagram, email, or status updates. We pretend to sing like Rosemary Clooney for a while or rock a leotard like Vera-Ellen. We laugh and enjoy time together that we don't document or filter for an audience.

And that's the whole point of family traditions. However trivial or bizarre they seem (Read: Families who run races on holidays, I'm so sorry), they're supposed to bring us together and make us feel at home. As our family grows and changes over the years, White Christmas will keep showing, we'll keep watching, and I'll keep downplaying how much I enjoy the simple, sweet pleasure of feeling like a kid again at Christmas.

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