Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas traditions

As Christmas rapidly approaches, I am thinking a lot about tradition, and memories. I want my children to grow up with warm and fond memories of this season.  I am finding some solace too in honoring my mom through continuing these traditions- so that I can tell my daughters, "This is how Grandma did it for me, and now I do it for you." And I guess that's what life is all about.

When we were kids, my parents allowed us each to open our stockings up as soon as we woke up. This is pretty much my fondest memory of Christmas morning. We didn't have to wait for my mom or dad to get up (which I'm sure was there way of holding us off another precious hour or so!). I have the best memories of sitting in the living room with my sisters and each opening up our stockings and enjoying those small stocking stuffers together and eating our Christmas candy, until Mom & Dad stumbled out to start their coffee.  All the gifts would be set out from "Santa" during the middle of the night, so the bottom of the tree went from being empty to being stacked full of gifts when we woke up. Each gift to the girls was from "Santa", but as we got older, it became undeniable that the handwriting on the gift tag matched my Mom's (until Christy took over gift wrapping duty as a teenager!). 

There are a lot of other fond memories but I don't have enough time to write them tonight. But I'm looking forward to Audrey's first Christmas, and Juliet's second. We are hosting all the family for Christmas dinner at our house, and I suppose that will become part of my children's memories- our house full of family, food, and joy.  I can't wait for a couple more years when they are old enough to pad down the hallway in their pajamas and happily peek into their stockings while Gary and I try to catch a few more minutes of sleep. These are sweet times.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

p.s. This was my attempt at trying to get Juliet to sit still near the Christmas tree for a photo. oh well!
p.p.s. Because we all know that Christmas really isn't about the gifts, or shouldn't be anyway-- I am trying to think of memorable ways to incorporate giving and service into my family's Christmas tradition. I'd love to hear your ideas on that too.

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