Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday traditions

I'm all kinds of giddy as the holiday season approaches. It's my favorite time of year! I've been thinking about our family's Christmas tradition and wanted to share. Plus, I want to try a Mr Linky to learn about your traditions.

Christmas tree- We put up our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. We alternate years of real and artificial. Kevin puts on the lights, though I want to do it myself to get it how I like it. Then, we all put on the ornaments. It's so fun to remember where the ornaments came from. While the tree is going up, we have a Christmas movie (or 2, depending on how long it takes) playing on the tv. If it's cold, we have a fire in the fireplace too. All this remembering makes me want to go put it up right now!

Special treasures- Every year, I buy a special ornament that represents something important from the last year. We get one, Beth gets one and Jacob gets one. This year, ours is a key representing the move to this house. Beth's is Wizard of Oz because she's really been into that this year. Jacob's is a monkey in the bathtub since he LOVES bathtime. All from Hallmark, of course. I buy a Christmas themed book for me to read. This year it will be the new Mary Higgins Clark/Carol Higgins book. Then, buy a children's book. I'm a sucker for books. Ok, so the children's book, I pick based on exceptional artwork and/or a great story. I don't just buy anything, I want something good. I've also been collecting Christmas dishes- The Christmas Story by Susan Winget since 2000. They quit producing them for a while, now they're back. Woohoo! At least I won't have to do the crazy ebay prices.

Christmas Eve tradtions- Growing up, we always went to Nanny and Grandpas's for Christmas Eve with Dad's side of the family. Now that we're 5 hours from them, and I want to be home for Christmas morning for Beth's sake, we don't go. However, my parents have started coming to spend the night and share Christmas morning with us. I LOVE this new tradition! In fact, Beth made them an invitation (did I already tell you this?) for this year. Christmas Eve is a busy night in our house. We bake and decorate cookies for Santa. The first year, we used some pop out shape kind. Last year, we used a packaged mix. I think this year, we may actually make some from scratch. Maybe. Don't get me wrong. I love cooking, especially baking, but the "help" and comments from the peanut gallery (Kevin) and the whiny baby take some of the joy away. Ok, back to traditions. At some point while the cookies are baking, before bath, the doorbell rings. Lo and behold, there's a package on the porch. It contains adorable, coordinating/matching jommies for the family, just in time for all the cute Christmas morning pictures. This was a tradition in Kevin's family growing up, and it was a fun one to adopt once we had Beth. Beth told me just last week that she hopes she gets new jommies on the porch this year. I love that it's one of her memories already! Here are this year's jommies. Matching for Jacob and Beth. I'm not sure if that's what I'm going to get for me... For Kevin, I'll get something red.

After bath and new jommies, we sit down for a story, taking the time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. A couple years ago, I found an interactive story at Walmart. As we read through the story- of Jesus' birth, His dying on the cross and resurrection and His love for us- Beth opens boxes containing visuals for the story. Since we only read it at Christmas, it's like a new surprise every time. As soon as I unpack things, I'll tell you the name of it. Lastly, before bedtime, we make sure there are cookies and milk out for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer.

Christmas Day- Growing up, my parents had plenty of ways to keep us in my room (Casey always slept in my bed, then we played until we could get out) until everything was ready- meaning Mom had makeup on. Luckily, we're not at that point with Beth. We hear her getting up, and we beat her to it, make sure everything is ready and get our caffine, before she comes downstairs. There is nothing like the look on a child's face when they see that Santa came while they were sleeping. That's truly the magic of Christmas. We see what Santa left- all unwrapped and out to see- and go through stockings before opening gifts from each other. Once all the unwrapping is done, I fix breakfast. Kevin teases me that it's the one time of year that I fix breakfast, but that's baloney. I fix breakast (for dinner) once in a while! Anyway. This is one of the things I remember most about Christmas at home. It's always a delicious fritatta. Sometimes, I'll have biscuits or crescent rolls too. I'll share the recipie soon. It's so yummy! We spend the rest of the day enjoying out new goodies. I spend lots of time trying to figure out where to put things.

Day after Christmas- I hit the sales!

Ok, here's where Mr Linky comes in. When you post a blog about your holiday traditions, use MrLinky to have a link on my page. I can't wait to read about your traditions!


SAH in Suburbia said...

Great playlist. I've been sitting here blog cruising with your music playing in the back ground. Thanks for some peace tonight!

Great Christmas traditions!!!

Katie Turner said...

I followed the link to your blog from Bring the rain and I love (and plan to steal/borrow) some of your traditions! This is only my 2nd Christmas with my husband so we don't have kids yet -- but I don't see why we can't have traditions adn then add to them if the Lord blesses us with children (hopefully someday!). Thanks for all the great ideas! Merry Christmas to you!