Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Traditions

When I was growing up Christmas was the Cadillac of holidays. My mom went all out, even when we had very little money. I remember that she use to start Christmas Clubs at the local bank just to have enough money to buy all the things she needed to make our Christmas perfect. We bought "real" trees and decorated them, planned and cooked a huge menu, bought oranges and nuts...oh and lots of Christmas candy. She played Christmas music for about a month and a half. She put up lights on the windows and doors, and bought big wreaths to hang every where. On the big day, we would come downstairs to what seemed like hundreds of gifts. We would tear open gifts with our names on them and revel at all the toys we'd dreamed of having the whole year long. My mom would sit back in what I can only describe as heavenly bliss, soaking up the laughter and smiles of happy children. Now that I'm married with kiddos, we do things much differently. We try our best not to get wrapped up in the commercialism of Christmas. My husband and I decided a long time ago not to even put up a tree. As years have gone by, we have taken extravagant vacations during the Christmas holidays and planned scavenger hunts for kids. We buy our kiddos a few gifts, hide them around the house, and give them clues to find presents throughout the day. We also try to put our focus on volunteering and enlightening them on social issues. Even though this is our way of teaching our kids that Christmas is a spiritual and giving notion, it feels like something is missing. Recently, I found myself missing many of the old traditions of the holidays the way that I grew up. I've been thinking about how sad I seem to have become the past few years during Christmas. I decide to take action this year and find some simple things to incorporate as a part of our holiday traditions. Here are some of the small things we could do each day for the week of Christmas:
  • Making hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows
  • Making homemade gifts
  • Holiday movies
  • Baking cookies
  • Making homemade candies
  • Christmas music
  • Holiday Brunch (the weekend before Christmas)
  • Christmas music
  • Christmas Eve all day appetizers (I borrowed this idea from another family)

I wonder what my kiddos will remember about the holidays when they grow up. Will there be anything that they cherished and perhaps will want to incorporate into their own family celebrations? Well, I accomplished the Holiday brunch today and the family loved it! I tried a recipe for a Apple Maple Breakfast Bundt from Johnsville (you gotta try this one). Mine didn't turn out quite like the pic on their website but it was good enough and it taste great!

I would love to hear what other people's favorite holiday traditions are:)

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