Monday, May 2, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I know what you're all thinking, CHRISTMAS! REALLY? Well, yeah. I have been thinking about Christmas a lot lately. I don't know why but I just have. I'm thinking that perhaps it's a desire to be better prepared. Perhaps it's an unconscious fear... of things. Who knows what it is but I've been thinking about it a lot. I've only got a few gifts set aside for Christmas 2011 so far and I haven't even begun thinking about some things! lol

Christmas has been my absolute favorite time of year for such a long time. I love the spirit that surrounds Christmas and the feeling it gives you. I love trying to come up with creative gifts that are perfect for the person that I give it to. I adore everything that comes with, around and about Christmas but this last year was a little harder for me. I had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit and we all know why. I know that it was even expected that it would be more difficult last year but it doesn't change how much I missed feeling the way I usually do at Christmas time. You all know how much I love Christmas, how I start listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies in like September or October and DEFINITELY by November 1st at the LATEST! I start my planning in June. Heck, I've already got a handful of gifts purchased and in the Christmas Closet already! Oh yeah, and then I guess there's the fact that I have a Christmas Closet. Our Christmas Closet is a stand alone closet, the type you would have in your garage, that has double doors on it that lock. We actually have 4 or 5 of these closets in our garage and one of them is dedicated to hiding gifts for Easter, birthdays and Christmas. It's the only one that has keys so that it can be locked. I wonder if someday the kids will discover it? LOL Well, for now, I think this secret is safe.

So this brings me to the reason for this post. I know it seems out of place to be writing about Christmas in May but it's been a long time since I've posted so I figured I have to jump in somewhere and this is what I've been thinking about lately. For the purpose of not forgetting, I started making a list of all the Christmas traditions that we have started with our family over the years. It was fun really thinking about all the little things we do. I decided to make the list because it seemed like every year I am always worried that I'm forgetting something and every year I almost always do! The other reason I wanted to make this list is because there were a few traditions that I still wanted to make. The biggest one for me was our Christmas Eve dinner. For years I've been wanting to set a traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Every year I'm so busy on Christmas Eve getting neighbor gifts delivered, upholding other Christmas Eve traditions and making sure everything is ready for the next day that I am always scrambling to come up with something for dinner that night and I don't want it to be lame. When I was growing up we always had pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve, it was fun and unorthodox and we loved it! We had pizza because it was easy and fast and we were so busy with tons of other stuff that day. So I wanted to come up with a traditional Christmas Eve dinner and during the course of the few days that I was working on the list of our family traditions I thought of something perfect! So, this is also a list of traditions I would like to start!

I would also like to say that I would LOOOOOOVE to hear about everyone's Christmas traditions. I am always curious to know what kind of things other families do. I also would love to know how other families plan their gift giving. Most people I know adhere to strict family budgets and I'm sure that has to extend to Christmas for most. So I wonder what solutions other families have put in place to accomplish this and what kind of traditions have been set.

So, with no further ado, here it is. Our Family Christmas Traditions List (in no particular order)!

- One night of driving around to look at Christmas lights as a family
- Group photo of kids in front of Christmas tree and other decorations
- A night at the dollar store so the kids can pick out and buy gifts for each other
- Calendar gifts for Grandparents
- 5 individual gift limit (3 from Santa, 2 from parents, we're thinking of changing this to 4 total, just 1 from parents)
- Rhodes Dough orange rolls for Christmas Morning Breakfast
- 1st Christmas Story and Pajamas on Christmas Eve
- Funeral potatoes and ham for Christmas Eve dinner (*NEW!)
- Dinner for 2 families the week before Christmas
- Make and deliver neighbor gifts with the kids
- Christmas cards, in envelope, marked with the year, stored with the decorations
- Christmas photo albums (*NEW!)
- Christmas letters to grandparents (*NEW!)

I'm sure I will add more to these few as time goes on and I remember more but these are the results so far.