I’m a mom this year at Christmas. Well, I guess I was last year too, but this year, I really feel like a mom. I have a little boy who runs to me with open arms, who I really believe knows who I am, and, I must admit, I know a little bit more this year about being a parent than I did last year. So I realllly feel like a mom this year.
Christmas is a weird thing to “figure” out when you have a ‘family’ and you aren’t just a ‘couple’ anymore. I’m working on trying to find family traditions for us for holidays, you know, not just for Christmas but for the 4th of July, and New Years, and Halloween, you know... holidays. So obviously, now, I’m talking about Christmas.
I have some simple things I’ve already instilled... like buying a new tree ornament every year, symbolizing something that has happened in our family. I want it to be something we can do together. And baking cookies. And of course, we’re trying to figure the Santa thing out. We do stockings for each other... and I want to read the Christmas story together on Christmas Eve as a family.
So in thinking about all of these things and finding the balance between overwhelming ourselves with traditions that we tolerate and being excited about traditions we enjoy, I started thinking back to my own childhood and what I remembered about Christmas, in general. Here’s a little of my recollection:
- We always opened presents together, as a family, on Christmas morning. I liked that. I enjoyed having that time, even if it was early because we were gone the rest of the day.
- My mom and I ALWAYS baked cookies together. Especially her Snowballs. This tradition is so important to me that I’ll try to do it exactly with Bryton, if he enjoys it. Snowballs and all. I loved this!
- We watched The Grinch, the original Grinch, every year together as a family, as well as National Lampoon’s family vacation. I foresee lots of those traditions in my family as well.
- As I got older we all opened one present early. Kids choices. I’ll never forget my last Christmas as a ‘kid’ in my parent’s house... I chose an awesome present for me and my mom. My dad, on the other hand, opened socks. bahahahaha!
- We always decorated the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Would love to say I may carry on this tradition, but I may be too early for that ;)
- We went at least one night out driving and looking at Christmas lights.
- I got an apple and an orange in every Christmas stocking I ever received... all the way through age 20! I’ll repeat that one! Sure beats a whole stocking of candy!!!
And here are some I’d like to add to my family:
- The ornament thing listed above.
- The Christmas story, listed above.
- Giving as a family. More specifically, allowing Bryton to “buy” for an Angel child every year.
- Secret Santa stockings. (This may be how we touch on the story of St. Nick in our Christmas celebration... it still points back to Jesus’ gift.)
- The possibility of ‘gold, frankincense, myrrh gifts.’
- Of course, Christmas cookies, movies, and hot chocolate.
- And, as children get older, skiing, if only in St. Louis.
But I'm open to suggestions! What are the family traditions YOU love?