When my husband and I first moved in together and got married we sort of took the traditions of our two families and mixed them together to make ours. We hadn’t had time yet to begin our own and finding new ones had yet to happen. I think our true traditions, the ones we do now and continue to sustain, began when we had children. I wanted to bring the best of my childhood, and the best of my husband’s childhood, and create a magical season for them. We’ve added on our own as the years have gone by, and now we have a season the reflects what is truly important to our children and us. For me, being a parent is what makes this time of year so wonderful. Creating memories that they may someday use to create traditions that they may use with THEIR children is what makes me happy. That, and seeing their faces on Christmas morning (and the excitement of tucking them in on Christmas Eve!)
Here are some of the things we enjoy doing each year, and hopefully for years to come!
Watching The Polar Express, either downtown at the old restored State Theater, or at home on Christmas Eve. Last year we got to ride on the train that they modeled the movie after, and that was pretty great, too!
Eating bagels and lox on Christmas morning, as well as cinnamon rolls ripping in icing. This is a blending of how my husband and I celebrated when we were children, so we add them both in.
The kids each get five gifts from Santa. This helps them whittle their lists down to a reasonable number, and makes sure they know that having a crazy amount of gifts is not that important.
We do the Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, because my husband is Italian and we love it. We gorge on lobster, scallops, mussels, clams, calamari, and anything else my talented husband can cook up for us in the kitchen.
I love making cookies with my kids in the weeks before Christmas. We make sugar cookies (that they decorate and then share with the neighbors), and white chocolate peppermint bark, and make a huge mess in the process.
Each year in Christmas Eve, my kids get a new pair of Christmas jammies and an ornament that fits in with whatever they were interested in the past year. They hang these ornaments on their little trees in their rooms that I set up for them.
The day after Thanksgiving we go out and get out Christmas tree! We spend the day decorating it and the house and is the official start of the holiday for us.
We love watching all of the Christmas specials that come on TV this time of year. We watch all of the classics (Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, the Grinch), as well as some of the great movies that they are beginning to love (A Christmas Story, Home Alone, Elf!)
On Christmas morning, we tale turns opening one present each, so we can all see what the other has opened, and it slows down the process and lets each gift be appreciated more!
Our Christmas dinner, which is often spent with just the four of us, is always Prime rib and green bean casserole, and a special dessert (this year it’s a 7 layer ice cream pie!)
Tell me, what are some of your Holiday traditions?