The first holiday Clary experiences with the Lightwoods is Halloween, which they’re all aware of, so she doesn’t think twice about whether or not they’d be aware of other mundane holiday traditions. Once Thanksgiving rolls around with zero mentions of days off or plans for any sort of special dinners - not even turkey sandwiches in the Institute’s cafeteria for the day - it becomes obvious that the only reason they’re so aware of Halloween is because of the heightened demonic activity.
“Most of us grow up in Idris,” Jace explains. “Even Alec and Izzy were pretty sheltered to just the usual Shadowhunter experiences, even though they grew up here. No one wants their kids to get too fond of mundanes and their lives.”
Clary rolls her eyes at that, though she understands what he means even after her short period of time with the Nephilim and their plethora of biases. Biases which she’s about to fix.
“Well, I might be a Nephilim but I’m sure as hell not about to give up celebrating holidays,” Clary says. Holiday traditions are some of Clary’s best memories of her mom and Luke and she isn’t about to let those die out just because she’s a Shadowhunter now. “We’re going to get a turkey dinner tonight at that diner I like, and then we’re going to get to work on Christmas.”
Jace laughs, knowing better than to fight her on this one, and Clary’s ‘Fray Holiday Traditions’ mission begins.
By the time Christmas rolls around there’s a tree set up in the common area that the piano is kept in - a compromise to have it in the Institute but out of the way of the main areas. It takes some convincing but Alec and Izzy give in to doing a gift exchange with her and Jace, too, complete with Christmas music and hot cocoa.
New Years’ is already known about, but Clary manages to get Alec, Izzy, and Jace to all take a pause at midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square from a rooftop a few blocks away.
Valentine’s Day goes off without a hitch with a dinner date and roses - a bit stereotypical for Clary’s normal tastes, but she’s determined to stick with the classics.
St. Patrick’s day isn’t a particularly big deal Clary definitely doesn’t pass up the chance to dress Jace, Alec, and Izzy in green and order all of them a round of green beers at the Hunter’s Moon. It takes more convincing to get Alec into a bright green shirt than it did to get him to agree to Christmas presents at the Institute, and Clary has to call in Magnus for reinforcement before Alec very reluctantly agrees to this one.
Clary’s favorite accomplishment is, hands-down, Easter.
While Clary first assumes that talking the Lightwood siblings into an easter egg hunt is going to be difficult, she forgets one key factor: their competitive streak.
“So whoever finds the most eggs wins,” Clary finishes explaining, and suddenly all three of them are on board.
“You’re going down,” Izzy says.
“You lost your necklace the other week and needed me to find it for you if I’m remembering correctly,” Jace reminds. “And it was right in front of your nose when I did.”
“Only one of us has spent most of our lives trailing to spot small targets at a distance,” Alec points out.
“The eggs won’t be moving, you know,” Izzy counters.
They continue on like this, with friendly competitive goading, from the day Clary tells them about her plans until Easter morning when they’re finally free to go on the hunt for the 100 plastic eggs Clary and Simon hid around the Institute.
In the end, it’s Isabelle who wins with 45 of the eggs. If Clary just so happens to hide five of them in Izzy’s closet for her to find, well, neither of them is going to tell the others that.
Fireworks round out the summer holidays, with trips to the best spots by the water to see the bigger televised displays, and smaller fireworks and sparklers for them to set off on their own at the Institute.
When the year of holiday traditions circles back to end on Halloween, Alec reluctantly allows them to do their patrol in costume, as long as the costume doesn’t impede in movement enough to be a hindrance, and when the night is said and done they celebrate with gorging themselves on candy while watching a scary movie until the four of them fall asleep slumped over one another on the sofa and floor.
When Thanksgiving rolls around again Clary doesn’t think much of it. She had her fun for the year, and while she absolutely plans on dragging Jace along on any holiday whims or desires she might want to fulfill she doesn’t plan on forcing the rest of them into it again.
So when she shows up to the cafeteria for dinner to discover a full spread of turkey, stuffing, squash, corn, and other traditional Thanksgiving favorites, she’s caught pleasantly by surprise.
Izzy sidles up beside where Clary stops to look over at Alec and Jace already sat down at a table, with spots saved for her and Izzy, the closest to a ‘family meal’ she’s seen here in weeks.
“Alec will never admit it,” Izzy whispers to her. “But I think he secretly likes the holiday stuff… and having you as part of the family to celebrate with. You definitely didn’t hear it from me, though.”
Izzy takes her tray and goes to sit next to Alec. Jace looks in the direction Izzy came from to spot Clary and wave her over next to him, and Clary takes a moment to watch the three of them with a fond smile.
She’s pretty sure it’s no secret that this is a family she loves being part of, too, and one she’s glad she found exactly when she needed them most.