Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Day 1- Christmas Traditions

I don't know if my family really has any "traditions" but I can tell you what we normally do...

This is the only picture from Christmas time that I could find easily without digging into endless amounts of photo books...

Starting with the weeks leading up to Christmas:
*Growing up my mom would always spend an entire weekend if not two weekends baking cookies, she would bake approx. 20-25 differnt types of cookies and would make a cookie tray to some of their top customers, family, and close friends.. When I would go with my mom to deliver the cookies, people's faces would just light up when we walked in as they knew why we were there each year. As the years have gone by for several reasons some of the main ones being my parents sold their nursery business, we don't get together as often with our extended family, and let's be honest a main reason is cause we can't consume all those lovely sweets and not have to work out for 6+ hours a day to try and work it off like we could when my parents were younger and even myself.
So now my mom spends one Saturday at the first of December baking approx 7-10 differnt types of cookies and we give them to a few close family friends and I bring a tray to both of Brian's parents houses.

*I remember waking up every morning in the month of December and going straight to the advent calendar in the kitchen to move the little mouse to the next day and counting how many more days till the "25th"

*Growing up my family would always cook chicken and dumplings (or some sort of warm dish) Christmas Eve night, as my mom was cooking I would be busy in the living room sorting out the presents to each person's designated stack to open. The presents we opened Christmas Eve were from "my parents" and my brother and I would exchange our gifts we picked out for each other, we would wake up Christmas morning to our visit from Santa Claus!!!! After going through those gifts we would head to our Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw's house where we would eat and do Christmas with my mom's side of the family.

As my brother and I have grown older things have changed a little...

* The past few years my family has gone to Christmas Eve Church service then out to eat at a semi-nice restaurant then home to open all of our gifts. Santa still comes Christmas morning and fills our stockings with goodies like gift cards, toiletries, small items, etc etc
- My mom has always been the best about making everything fair for my brother and I.. I can't Thank her enough for this!! She spends extra time as she is wrapping gifts through out the month and writes down what is in each box and what kind of paper it is wrapped in (she makes a visual note) then normally on the 23rd or 24th she pulls them all back out from under the tree and numbers them, we have to open #1 at the same time then #2 and so on... The gift normally has the same $ value or is the same "type" of gift, a dvd, socks, shirt, etc..

*On Christmas day we normally always take our time getting ready and head over to my dad's cousins who you might know as Auntie Cousin Joy (she gave herself this name when we were little kids, she didn't want to just be a cousin, she wanted to more of an Aunt for us and boy was she ever!) But since my sweet Auntie Cousin Joy passed away at the beginning of this year, things will be differnt this year.. I'm not sure what the plan is to be honest!
I feel like I am giving you a novel of each thing, so I am just going to briefly mention a few other things we do:

- We all get a pack of socks every year, its a huge joke with the 4 of us.. We get all excited when we open them and act like it's a package of gold!
- I have made my Dad a photo wall calendar and my mom a photo desktop calendar of pictures from the previous year for the past 7+ years.. I normally try and theme them out, one year I did a pic from when we were young and a pic of the past year for every month (diff pics each month of course) I also try and put a pic of something significant for that month (March My B-day, pic of me.. Sept parents Anniv, pic of them.. December pic of Christmas from the year before etc etc)
- One of my closest friends Rebekah celebrates with us every year if she can not make it home to her parents, this year she went home for Thanksgiving so she will be spending Christmas with us
- I get our puppies a new costume/shirt/hat every year.. It's a HUGE hit for the family, my dad talks about it all year especially a lot as we get closer to the holiday..

- This is not a good thing... As I've gotten older and harder to shop for, I pretty much know about 70% of what I'm getting.. I'm normally with my mom when she buys it or I order it online and give it to her, ha... My poor mom tries so hard to still find ways to surprise me, she's just too sweet!

I guess that's enough of what we do every year!

I'd like to briefly list a few things I want to do with my little family in the future:

-Collect an ornament every year, I love giving themed ornaments that pertain to what that person likes or enjoys doing..
-Teach my kids the real meaning behind Christmas at an early age
- Participate in "Elf on the shelf" every year!

- Help them believe in Santa for as long as possible....
-Leave cookies for Santa
-Do the Advent Calendar together every day
-Watch Charlie Brown's Christmas Story every year
-Listen to Christmas music as we decorate
-Volunteer/give to the orphans a couple times during the Holiday season
- Never forget the Reason For The Season!
-Do crafts together
-Take Family Christmas Pictures every year
-Be stress free as we try to spend time with all of our families
-Build a Snowman (out of sand) on the beach at least once
-Dress up every Christmas Eve
-Spend Christmas day in our PJ's

Can you tell I will be your "typical" over achiever mom.. EEK!!!


rblanton22 said...

omg i love the build a snowman out of sand idea, haha!! i pretty much want to do all the things you listed with my kids too... we have VERY similar christmas eves/days :) <3 love.

Rebekah said...

can't wait for christmas this year as usual love, it's my favorite part of the holiday season getting to spend it with you and your family! now to put together your present, oy!


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