Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Some of the most special memories I have of growing up are traditions revolving around Christmastime. I loved the warm presence of my parents and siblings as we recreated things that were special to us each year. With Christmas this weekend, I thought I would share some fond memories of things that my family and I did to make Christmas special, as well as things that my husband and I have started (while dating; this is our first Christmas as a married couple!).

Family Traditions

My siblings and I. Christmas 2010.

On Christmas eve we were allowed to open one present. We got to pick the present, but usually my mom (knowing what each present was) would hint to one that was not a majorly huge Christmas present so we would still have lots to look forward to on Christmas day. Some years we opened our present before church, and some years we opened it after, but we continued this tradition the whole time I lived at home (until 2006).

We always, always, always went downstairs to see what Santa brought us together as a family. My parents liked to torture us...usually they would shower while we begged and waited for them (mind you, this was still before 7am). Then finally the time would come to head downstairs and we would all go together (while my dad video taped). This made it so exciting and created so much more anticipation for us as young kids! Plus, it was really special to open our Santa gifts together.And my mom enjoyed watching as we opened our stockings.

After stockings, we had breakfast. As long as I can remember this breakfast consisted of cinnamon rolls, eggs, bacon/sausage. Stephen and I had my parents over to my place last year for Christmas and we made this same breakfast for them (we were engaged; and yes, even divorced my parents are still celebrating Christmas as a family. It makes things so nice).

Once we eat we move on to the Christmas presents from parents and family. My mom says "slow down" or "this is going to quickly" while we take turns opening our presents. This is different from my husbands family. They will all open presents at the same time and that is what they have always done. But I'm with my mom on this one, I like to savor Christmas.

There are some other fun traditions we have done for many years like: even as kids my mom, errr Santa, would put lottery scratch-it card in our stockings, receiving and ornament each year from grandma, as well as the tradition of my siblings always trying to find where my mom had hidden the gifts before Christmas. 

Hubby and I

We are still creating traditions and I am sure we will create even more new ones once we have children, but we do already have some. With our large family and both of our parents being divorced, we celebrate Christmas just the two of us on Christmas eve. This is a special time for us to give each other the gifts we have picked out. This makes our time secluded and even more special since Christmas Day for us is quite similar to the movie Four Christmas with all of the different households we make our rounds to. We wouldn't change a thing, though.

Another Christmastime tradition for us is the Nat King Cole Christmas CD. Hubby grew up listening to this CD and introduced it to me when we had our first Christmas together. It is old and that's why it's great. So much meaning and spirit. We have it on while we decorate the tree and many other times throughout the Christmas season. 

We will be building new traditions together in this first Christmas of our marriage, and we will also continue some others like making cinnamon rolls for my family this Christmas.

Only five more days...

What are your Christmas traditions?

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