Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. There are just so many great things about it. I love the snow (when we get some), the frenzy people engage in over getting all their shopping in, setting up the tree, and yes, opening presents. What can I say? I’m a present kind of woman. And I love traditions; old family ones, and coming up with new ones.
Over the years, I’ve participated in a lot of different Christmas traditions and have even created a handful of new ones with my incredible husband and our kids.
· We put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving. I’m pretty sure this stems from my childhood when my parents would get my sisters and I together to put up the tree and decorate it. We always had a live tree back then, but my husband is a fan of the artificial type. It took a little while, but I got on board.
· Getting all my shopping done before November. As much as I love the hustle and bustle of the stores the closer we get to Christmas Day, I prefer shopping online where everything is just shipped right to my door. I tend to have the kids get their lists in to me by July.
· The infamous second Christmas list. It never fails. Every year I get all the shopping done before November and then I think of a dozen more things to buy for the kids or my niece and nephew. I can’t help it; I like spoiling them. So, I start a second list and do another round of shopping…all the while hoping the gifts arrive before Christmas day.
· Making a gingerbread house. This is a fairly new tradition that my daughters and I started a few years ago when my youngest daughter was wandering through the store. She texted me that she’d found a gingerbread kit and could we please, please, please buy it. I told her that was fine and sent her sister over to help her decide which kit to buy. Ten minutes later, they came back, a giggling mass of long dark hair; their arms laden with all four gingerbread kits. My older daughter: “She couldn’t make up her mind.” My younger daughter: “This way we can build a Christmas village!”
· Secret Santa. When I was a kid, my dad might have gotten tired of hearing us ask if we could open a present before Christmas. Or he just liked Christmas. Either way, he decided that every year, we would draw names from a hat and whichever name we got, that’s who we bought a gift for. Our family would then drive to the nearest department store on Christmas Eve and buy that one last gift. The trick was to buy the gift without anyone else seeing what you bought; especially the person whose name you’d drawn. It was always a fun shopping trip and I loved being able to open a present on Christmas Eve. These days, my husband and I do Secret Santa with our kids. It’s always fun and it reminds me of a happy time from my childhood.
What about you? What do you like about this holiday season? Do you stick to old family traditions and mix it up with a few new ones or do you find new and exciting things to do each year?