Friday, December 9, 2011

Five on Friday: Holiday Traditions

I can imagine that over the years you have reflected on what made Holidays so special in your house, or as you blended Holidays with your spouses family you married your favorite Holiday traditions with those that made his Holidays ones to write home about as well.  I remember growing up, I thought that the way my family did it was the bees knees, but now that we have a family of our own we are making some of our own traditions, but you will see that a lot of my favorites started from my own childhood holiday memories. 

1) PJ's & Christmas Lights - for the last few years we have dressed the girls in their Holiday PJ's on December 23rd, packed them up in the car and we've gone in search of Christmas Lights.  This year we plan to add some cookies to the mix and maybe even some luke warm hot chocolate in fun mugs. This is one that has gotten a lot easier and more exciting as the girls have gotten older. We belt out the Christmas Tunes and tour our lovely city in a quest to find the tackiest lights display. As a kid there was always this one house that we would visit, the cars would circle and people would get out and check out the display, it was serious business. It was sad when that family moved...

2) Reindeer Dust & The Koehlers - we have celebrated Christmas Eve with our dear friends the Koehlers for the last few years and it has been great, the kids have a blast, the adults watch the kids play while fitting in a few adult conversations and then to cap off the night we all head outside to sprinkle reindeer dust to ensure that Rudolph knows where to land the sleigh.  I can imagine if we keep this one up, it will be a tradition for years to come, even if we move, I can imagine we will get together on Christmas Eve, I can see Zack and Olivia as college students coming home and still having Christmas Eve dinner together, that is what traditions are all about.

3) Christmas Morning - this one is a no brainer, I can imagine everyone has great memories of Christmas Morning, of seeing their gifts for the first time, but I just loved the way my parents made such a production out of it. I had to wait in my room, they had to make the coffee, throw some wood on the fire, check to see if Santa had come (even when I was in college, they had to check) and then they would release me, and I would go RUNNING down the hall to see the tree for the first time, surrounded by presents. 
Christmas Eve 2010
Prior to Christmas Morning there was never a single present under our tree, except for maybe presents for friends or from other people, but all the presents to be opened on Christmas Morning wouldn't appear until after I had gone to bed on Christmas Eve, so it was such a surprise to see all the packages wrapped up when I rounded the corner on Christmas Morning (in a full sprint).  We do something similar with the girls, one of us comes down stairs, makes such that Santa came, gets their cups of milk ready, and stands ready with the camera while the other one helps the girls down the stairs after the all clear has been given. I love seeing their faces, watching their eyes light up at the sight of the tree and all the presents.

Christmas Morning 2010
4) Giving - I have mentioned this a few times already this season, but we are really trying to focus some family energy on giving to others in need and talking a lot about how good it feels to give onto others. We hope that this tradition continues to grow and that the girls start to understand the power of a gift. I am still waiting to hear back from the Country Peacemakers, the group of quilters that made Avery's NICU quilt, our hope was to donate some fabric or at least a gift card to a fabric store so they could continue their mission to provide quilts for other little ones in need of a cheerful quilt.

5) Ornaments & Shopping - every year the girls and I are going to go out to lunch and go shopping for an Ornament and for a present for their Daddy. We haven't officially started this one yet despite the fact that I have procured several ornaments for each of them over the last year, but I plan for us to start this year, I am looking forward to a morning of just us girls. My Dad and I had a similar tradition growing up, from the time I was teeny tiny, he would pick me up from school and we would spend a day shopping for my Mom, just him and I. We would have lunch and sometimes dinner and we would shop until we dropped. We have gone every single year, even now, he and I head to Williamsburg for a day of shopping, just us.  I looked forward to that trip every year, I hope the girls feel the same way when they are 30+ years old.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

Your Christmas morning is exactly like mine growing up. Now I get to do that for the boys and its awesome. I'm going to pick up your drive around in PJs idea too. Thanks for sharing Leigh!