Dear Mom and Dad,

Boy, I sure miss being home back on Mars.   It is very cold here with limited visibility on this  part of Earth.  During my week of study I've discovered strange human traditions centered around a holiday they call "Christmas".   I have learned many things.  

I discovered a man on his roof untangling colored lights.  He looked cold and agitated.   I decided to infiltrate further into the human culture and offered my assistance.  He turned down my offer and muttered something about me being a liability and his insurance wouldn't cover an accident if I were to fall off his dwelling.   Still perplexed about the lights I asked him what they were for?

He responded,  "Actually I don’t know why I'm doing this, it just is...I hang them on the house every year - it’s a tradition"!

Then I began to wonder about what other traditions he and other humanoids share.  So I asked him and this is what he told me...

"Traditions"!  "We have many...here's the short list.

We put up a Christmas tree with white lights in the house.  It use to be real, but my oldest boy is allergic to pine trees so now it is fake tree.

We buy our boys a new Christmas ornament every year.  We have so many of them now that you can hardly see the tree!

We have to listen to Christmas music when decorating the tree and the house.

We use to attend midnight Mass – but after the kids arrived we changed it to 10 O’clock.

When the boys were young grandma would read T’was the Night before Christmas just before bedtime.

New pajamas!  Yes, every year my wife gets the entire family new pajamas – she wraps them and we open them before bed on Christmas Eve.  This is the only night of year I wear pajamas!

The hidden pickle ornament.  We hide this thing in the tree Christmas Eve.  The kid who discovers it in the morning gets a surprise gift from mom and dad.

We leave cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer every year – even now that the boys are old enough to know that...well; you know...he’s not real.

The week before Christmas we drive around in our sweats and look at Christmas lights.

The most important tradition is remembering what Christmas is all about.  The birth of child who changed the world"!

"So, there you go!  I'm sure there is more but I've got to get these lights done before dark and I still have to assemble my lighted reindeer for the front yard".