Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday Traditions

Every year we add things to our holiday traditions. It started out with things that Doug and I took from our childhoods but as we grow as a family what is important to us is highlighted in the things we focus on and repeat every year. It is so interesting and fun to watch the dynamics of Doug and our girls as they interact with the train and as Doug makes a point to watch holiday classics each night with Aubrey.

We do not do a lot of TV in this house, so having a special 30 minutes of TV built up by daddy is VERY exciting. Last night it was Rudolph. Tonight it will be Frosty.

Other things we do:
  • church, remembering to talk about the reason for the season - Baby Jesus's Birthday
  • Oranges and peanuts in our stockings
  • train table
  • keeping pictures from our christmas cards each year and bringing them out to see how everyone has changed
  • reading LOTS of christmas books
  • singing christmas carrolls
  • cutting down our tree
  • decorating our tree
  • baking cookies and breads
  • making a Gingerbread house - from a kit, DUH
  • Advent calendars together
  • watching holiday classics
  • christmas eve dinner at my parents
  • christmas day at Doug's parents

And I heard this one last night that I want to add! Making oatmeal with lots of glitter, put it outside so the reindeer have a snack and they can see the sparkles from WAY up high and come eat it and maybe even "drop" one of their bells for us to find.

I am sure there are lots of things I am forgetting but what are some traditions in your house?

**Update regarding the orange in the stocking, I did a quick search and found this:

The gold Nicholas threw to provide the dowry money is often shown as gold balls. These are symbolized by oranges or even apples. So the orange in the toe of the stocking is a reminder of Nicholas' gift.

and this:

There also the other tradition connected with Christmas Stockings. People use to put an orange (or even an apple) in the toe of the Christmas Stocking as a reminder of Nicholas’ dowry gift. The gold Nicholas threw into the maiden’s room is often shown as gold balls. The oranges in stockings symbolizes that great gift of Saint Nicholas.


Mommy said...

I have a Jewish friend who would go around to friend's houses and jingle bells in the middle of the night - so little kids would THINK they heard Santa's sled! It was hilarious to hear my friend's little siblings talk about it. And I am curious about the oranges in stockings - Why?

Kelly said...

We used to get oranges and apples in our stockings when we were little, too. I'm sorry to admit that I don't know who this Nicholas is...St. Nick??

We are beginning our family traditions. We (and I use that term very loosely) decorate our tree the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We will always, always, always wake up in our own house on Christmas morning. We buy Reagan an ornament every year--the first one is a bib for his 1st Christmas, the second one is a beautiful dog one for his first word spoken (um, "dog"), his third one is a chicken because he loved his Little People chicken last year (named her Tallulah), and this year is a nice hot wheels car because he loves cars.


Also, we try to get an ornament whenever we go on vacation.

I love having a tree where most of the ornaments mean something. I think there may be only 12 to 16 store bought ornaments...the rest mean something to us.

Unknown said...

We do the Christmas classics - I got the DVD's this year. Last year we watched Santa go around the world, we left cookies and a letter from Regan with a letter back to her from Santa! My mom shared some of the ornaments that I made as a child so I have those. I need to find a spider for my tree - my mom did keep that homemade ornament. But the significance is that a house was cleaned spotless for the visit of Christ the following day and at night the spiders came out and covered the tree in cobwebs, but Christ saw it for what it was and the beauty the spiders has created. So spiders are good! (at christmas)

Mommy said...

I started a tradition of buying Tommy an ornament every year - so when he grows up and moves into his own place -he will have ornaments for his very own tree. Last year I bought him one of the Chesapeake Bay - our old house was 2 blocks from the bay. I haven't found the perfect one for him this year...I'm still looking.
And we will ALWAYS wake up in our own house on Christmas...despite what my mother thinks. We have enough disruptions to normal life with Daddy's schedule - this is ONE normal thing I can give my kids!