Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas traditions

A friend of mine wanted me to blog on our families Christmas traditions.
So I thought I would. My son was the first grandchild on either side. I remember his first Christmas, I was so excited! We were at my in-laws and relatives were all gathered and there was a frenzy of unwrapping and five minutes later it was over. I had no idea who had given him what and he was so overwhelmed he didn't know what to play with first. So most of our traditions are about streaching things out. Also we like to make things the same every year if we can because my oldest loves predictability.

Christmas eve: We usually have a church service to attend (some years we have had several because of someone singing or a living nativity or some other involvement in church)
After that we come home and have a special meal. It has changed over the years. For a while when Angie was in high school we did taco soup because it was her favorite. Then when she grew up and moved out we did frozen pizza because it was Shiloh's favorite. Last year we did an international dinner with foods from all over the world. This year I think we are back to pizza.

After church I give the first gift. Everyone gets one. It's always Pajamas. The kids joke about the fact that it's always the same, but when I mentioned doing it differently they looked sad, so this year it will be pajamas again. I have given up on trying to find mathing ones for everyone though.

After everyone puts on thier new pajamas, we gather in the family room and dad picks up a book from our stack of Christmas books. While he reads I cook. The the youngest child gets the spotlight, that child gets to give out the gifts he or she bought or made. We open one at a time and make a huge deal out of each gift. These gifts are extra special because they are the first. (not counting the pajamas).
Then we read another book, and then it's the next child's turn.
Meanwhile during the books, I make hot chocolate with a candy cane to stir for each child, and then I make cookies. I deliver all of these to them as sit clustered around dad listening to the stories. Our last stories of the night are always "The Night Before Christmas" and The Christmas story from the Bible. Then we leave some cookies for Santa and some milk and the kids go to bed.

When the kids wake up the first thing they do is run to the table. Thier stockings are missing, but Santa has left each a clue. Each clue leads to another and another until the tenth clue leads to the stocking. They bring their stockings to the table, where I bring cinomon rolls and juice. They take thier time going through what's in the stocking and eating breakfast. They usually have candy, some small toys (party favor type stuff) maybe a small gift of some other kinds, sometimes toothbrushes and other useful things.

When everyone is ready we go to the family room. The gifts have been under the tree for a few days usually. There are no names on the gifts just numbers. Mom has the magic chart. Usually the youngest gets the first gift and it goes in order of age through the kids. Sometimes there is a gift for mom or dad that throws the whole thing off so they can't predict it and some gifts are for everybody! (usually a movie or board game). There are usually lots of gifts, but some are funny, some are practical, and the last one is the big real gift. This year one of the gifts will be Bubble wrap, they are each getting thier own roll to pop. It was a dollar a roll in the dollar store! The older boys will get socks, if someone needs shoes or a new back pack or more pencils for school or anything like that they will get it. The younger kids get several dollar store type toys. Anyway, because I number the gifts, they go from the least important to the most. I also sometimes get tricky with wrapping to keep them guessing. large things are usually hidden somewhere else in the house and that gift will be in a small box, it will be a note with a clue as to where the big gift is hidden. This is also done for outside gifts. Anyway, because we do the gifts one at a time, we take much longer to open them all. The smaller toys get played with while waiting. After that we put everything away and get dressed and go to Grandma's house for dinner. So those are our traditions, what are yours?

1 comment:

Mike and Christie said...

We always bake cookies and hang them on the tree. (we bake the hooks into them)

We code our gifts with bible names. Nobody knows who they are until Christmas Morning. Then, in their stocking is a verse. They look up the verse and it will disclose their secret name.

(we didn't do this for the last couple of years so that Erika wouldn't be left out and the other girls could read well enough, so we will start this tradition back up next year)

We started wrapping the gifts for the girls in calico material instead of paper so they can save the material for sewing projects.

On Christmas Eve we always get on our pajamas and watch "It's A Wonderful Life".

Gifts are opened and enjoyed one at a time and we like to take our time.
The older kids come in the afternoon and we have Christmas Dinner with family and friends.
This year, it is TURKEY.....
The 44 lb one. :)

I have a picture of it on the blog.