Saturday, December 20, 2008

Family Traditions

My husband has a glittery golden reindeer that he hangs at the top of the tree each year. It has to go up first and nothing can go higher except the tree topper. The irony is, my husband HATES glitter. But he’s had that ornament since he was a child and his father used to lift him up so he could put it near the top. For the sake of childhood memories, he overlooks the glitter.

One Christmas Eve his mom got home late from work and made tacos for dinner. Everyone loved it, so she kept making tacos for dinner every Christmas Eve. It became a tradition that all four of her kids carry on today in their families.

My family would eat popcorn, cookies and hot cocoa on Christmas Eve, open one present and watch whatever holiday fare was on tv. My dad would also insist on a roaring fire to keep any fat men from breaking and entering through the chimney, but our stockings still managed to get filled by morning. My kids think this is an excellent way to spend Christmas Eve after a nice taco dinner.

Before I had children, I was really anal about where the ornaments went on the tree. Everything had to be spaced properly and color coordinated. These days, I don't have time or energy to control such ridiculous details. And the haphazard way the kids decorate the tree has a charm all it's own. They love to listen to Christmas carols and sip candy cane tea as we unwrap and hang each treasure from the ornament box.

We have a Christmas village that grows larger each year. My husband's grandmother started us off more than 10 years ago with a bank. (She worked her entire life at a bank.) Each year we add one new building. The four of us spend a lot of time in the store trying to agree on which piece to buy each year. It’s one of the things our family looks forward to every December.

What traditions do you look forward to each holiday season?


Sarah Laurenson said...

My wife and I are still debating what traditions we will make for ourselves. So far, Christmas seems to be about getting us something for the house. Last year it was the bathroom remodel. This year is a bit more tame and much less time consuming - a new stove. This Christmas we are giving the family donations in their honor to different charities. Not a popular idea for some of my family members, but there is such need out there. We don't decorate. Sounds odd, I suppose. If (when?) we have kids, it would be different, I suppose.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

We have Norwegian pancakes every morning for Christmas... a tradition my father started after he lived 2 years in Norway in his teen years. When we celebrate Christmas with my husband's family (switch off every year), I sure do miss those pancakes...

We like to open one present on Christmas Eve, too. And I love your little village! What a great thing to collect!

Vivian Mahoney said...

Oh my goodness! You just reminded me I needed to get candy canes! Not only does Santa leave presents under the tree, but he also decorates the tree with candy canes!

Merry Christmas!

Kelly Polark said...

I enjoyed reading your Christmas traditions, Sherry! My kids all help me decorate the tree too. It doesn't look as perfect, but I love it all the more! One tradition we have is we sprinkle oats and glitter on the front lawn for Santa's reindeer. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Sarah, you're right. Having kids in the mix changes things. I like your idea of donating in honor of family members. I haven't been brave enough to do that yet.

Lady Glamis, Norwegian pancakes sound yummy!

Vivian, I love that Santa decorates your tree, too! How cool!

Kelly, the oats and glitter sound awesome! We usually leave carrots inside with Santa's cookies.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Sherrie, we are so on the same wavelength. I just wrote about our Christmas traditions too! Most of ours revolve around singing, making puzzles, eating, eating and more eating and since we're in Vermont, playing in the snow. We go for long walks through the forest, build snowmen, have snowball fights and go snowmobiling. It's crazy good fun. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

evelyn said...

Traditions become part of our very being, to accept and rejoice or reject and rejoice. It is our choice.
Peace on earth begins with each of us, deep within our beings.
Blessed Christmas!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Suzanne, I was born in Ohio so I miss all of the snow traditions. Sounds like you had a great Christmas!

Evelyn, I hope you had a peaceful, blessed Christmas as well.

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