As I reflect back over the years, Christmas has always been about tradition. There was always cookies and milk put out for Santa. There was always going to bed early and getting up even earlier. There are traditions that you start on your own and traditions that you continue from your own childhood.
This reflection is more of a collection of memories. As I have grown up and started my own family we have continued some family traditions and started some new ones. It is really quite funny that out of all the conversations that Craig and I had about family while we were dating there was really no conversation about how our families handled Christmas.
The compromise started the very first Christmas of our married life. As I started to set up the Christmas tree and place my color-coordinated balls on the tree along with all white lights Craig looks at the tree in total disgust. "What is your problem?" I said. "Well, that is not how we decorated the tree when I was growing up. We used multi-colored lights and ornaments that my mom made." Well, if you have read my previous blog about Craig's mom and how important she was to Craig, how was I suppose to tell him I wouldn't put his Mom's ornaments on our tree. So her ornaments joined my color-coordinated balls. The tree never looked so good!!!
Just so happened that I was also 6 months pregnant our first married Christmas together. (That subject may appear in a different blog...but yes if you do the math he was a honeymoon baby.) Well, Christmas Eve came and Craig said we were going to continue another tradition that his family had. When he was a child they all opened one present on Christmas Eve.
Seriously? I never heard of such a thing! I would beg my parents to allow me to open JUST one present. I didn't even care if it was clothes! But they never did! And here was my wonderful husband just giving me permission to do what I had wanted to do the whole time I was growing up! So that DEFINTELY became part of our Christmas tradition.
Since the kids have come along we have added others, like getting a family ornament every year or making brownies for Santa instead of cookies. "Santa has cookies at everyone else's house let's make our house different and make brownies. He will remember us better." This was my reasoning to the kids. They love it and every year we talk about how Santa will remember us better because we make brownies.
Our tree now is covered with ornaments from everything. Ornaments made by the kids in their schools. Ornaments that the grandparents have given them every year since they were born. Our family ornaments. Very few of my colored balls. And of course....the ornaments Craig's mom made still hang proudly on our tree.
So while this season brings about traditions and reflections it makes me curious....what are the traditions that your family celebrate?