As Christmas is draws near (9 shopping days left) I am sitting here pondering various Christmas traditions. The one I remember most growing up that my family shared was Christmas Eve at my grandparents house. I remember the anticipation of having to wait until everyone was off work to go over there, then having to wait for everyone to eat and get in their seats before we could open the gifts. My sister and I would be crazy with excitement! The one thing we have always done is open gifts in order from oldest to youngest, instead of everyone just ripping open their gifts all at the same time. I admit, this system does take longer (which makes Christmas last longer) but it also allows everyone to enjoy the gifts the others are receiving as well as their own. At my grandparents, everyone has their “assigned” seat and it has been this way as far back as I can remember! Of course there have been changes to the family such as my mom and dad divorcing and my mom remarrying (my stepdad too my father’s spot) my aunt divorcing and remarrying (same exchange) and then of course the addition of my husband and children along with my sister’s husband. My grandparent’s living room is small so now we are all crammed in but it is always so much fun (even if it is loud and crazy at times). As I have gotten older and my children have to sit and wait for their turn to open gifts, I see the excitement and anticipation in their eyes and I remember back to a time when I felt the same way and I am then flooded with joy that I still have that much excitement for a time spent with family, that my family is still together and healthy and that I also have been able to add a wonderful husband and three amazing children to the mix. This will be Brady’s second Christmas but the first one that really counts (he was only 2 weeks old last year) and I am so excited about seeing him tear paper and play with boxes.
Since marrying Phillip we have begun our own traditions such as putting up the tree as a family on the day after Thanksgiving, watching Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown and all the other Christmas specials we enjoyed as children. We always pop popcorn and pile on the couch as a family when these shows are on. Once Kalyn was born we added in our “Stay-At-Home-Family Christmas” where we spend Christmas day at home in our pajamas watching Christmas movies and letting the kids play with all their new gifts. I always make pancakes for breakfast and then in the mid-afternoon, Phillip will make a ham with all the yummy sides (because this is something his family always did on Christmas day). Movies, fun, family, and yummy food….what a great day!!
After hearing about some traditions that my friends share with their families I have decided we are going to incorporate some of these into our family day as well. The first is baking a birthday cake for Jesus and singing Happy Birthday to Him to remind them what Christmas really is all about. We have never been ones to sit out food for Santa or his reindeer, but I think this year we might start that as well. The other thing I am going to start is right before bed on Christmas Eve I am going to read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas to the kids right before they open one gift (which will be new PJ’s)….then it will be off to bed to wait for Santa.
For some reason I am more excited about this Christmas than I have been about any holiday in a long time. The past few months have been really hard on my family so I guess somewhere deep inside I am hoping that Christmas is going to mark a new beginning and bring joy, happiness and success to my family in 2010!!
Peace to you and yours this Christmas season!!!!
Tell me some of your Christmas traditions….maybe they will inspire me!!