I recently wrote this guest post over at Pretty Living PDX, and I really liked how it came out, so I thought I’d post it here as well, while it’s still “in season!”
It’s that time of year again, so I thought today I’d share a few of my family’s Christmas traditions (old and new).
|My first Christmas, in 1984|
Christmas was a really fun time growing up. My mom has always been really big on parties and holidays, down to the smallest details, so we always had the best celebrations. Living in Maine, we always had a real, fresh Christmas tree that left the house smelling of pine.
We did colored lights, and now I do the same on my tree (which is a lovely fake, since we now live in Arizona). I love seeing my Christmas tree lights first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
|Vanessa, Christmas 2012|
We had the tradition that we opened gifts from siblings on Christmas Eve. At first it was just my brother and me exchanging, and then when my little sis came along, the three of us exchanged (then we each had TWO presents to open). It was supposed to be done in the evening right before bed, but as we got a little older it got pushed earlier and earlier as we begged my parents to let us open the gifts!
|Sibling gifts, Christmas 1988|
I’m continuing that tradition with my own kids now. This is Carter’s fifth Christmas, and Vanessa’s second, so this is just the second time they are exchanging with each other. Psst…next Christmas THEY will have TWO gifts to open. ;)
|Carter and Vanessa, Christmas 2012|
On Christmas morning, we always got our stockings first. My mom would fill them with little gifts, candy, and a variety of toiletry items. When I married my husband and first did a stocking for him, he found it odd that I filled it with toothpaste and deodorant (among more exciting items), but hey, that’s just something we’ve always included in stockings!
|Carter’s 1st Christmas, 2008|
We also always had one (usually larger) unwrapped present under the tree on Christmas morning, from Santa, which we got first thing, along with our stockings.
|Carter, Christmas 2009|
Then it was time for breakfast, which usually included french toast and bacon! Mmm….
Then after breakfast we would open our presents. At least that was how it was supposed to go. Many Christmases we just couldn’t wait and opened our presents before breakfast. Truth be told, it was often my dad who would just say, “oh let’s just open them all!”
|Carter, Christmas 2010|
I’ve decided that, for my own children, “Santa” will bring them each one gift, which they will find unwrapped under the tree in the morning, and “Santa” fills the stockings. All the wrapped gifts are from Mom and Dad and siblings!
|Vanessa’s 1st Christmas, 2011|
A tradition that my husband had growing up was “doing funny walks out to the tree.” Christmas morning, nobody was allowed to go out to the tree until they all lined up and agreed on a silly walk to do out to the living room, which was usually videotaped. We might just have to add that in to our Christmas morning traditions!
I also like to do something special late on Christmas Eve. When I was younger we often attended church services that evening, or sometimes even at midnight. We haven’t established a specific tradition yet with our kids, but even just taking a walk to look at the neighborhood light displays is a nice thing to do.
I’d love to hear what traditions you and your families have for the holidays, so leave a comment and tell me!