My favorite holiday tradition is actually brand-new this year – at least it is for my family.

We took our two-year-old son to see Santa Claus… in an unlikely venue.

Last year, we waited in line for an hour at the local mall. Meanwhile, we were subjected to nonstop trailers for a horrible holiday movie projected on big screens, and were surrounded by “themed” decorations based on the same film. Talk about the commercialization of Christmas. Anyway, after all that, my son took one look at Santa Claus and started crying so hard that his face turned the same color as cheery old St. Nick’s suit.

But this year, we hit the local Outdoor World (a megastore that sells hunting, fishing, boating, and camping gear) and things went very well – despite the creepy presence of reindeer that had seen the business end of a taxidermist.

The line was short. And instead of screaming, my son stared at Santa in wonder (it might have helped that we’d been prepping him for this all year) and then quietly asked for a “fishing rod.” No, he hadn’t just seen a store display. He’s been going on about fishing rods since we took him on a kayak trip through a popular sport fishing area on the west coast of Florida.

I guess fishing on Christmas Day will be another tradition we’ll start this year… so I’d better learn how to fish.

[Ed. Note: What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Let us know right here.]

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