Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Traditionally Speaking

Happy (almost) December!  I love December.  We get to partake in all things Christmas, there is a huge break from "regular" life at the end of the month, and the cold temperatures are new on the scene so they  haven't yet driven me to the point of insanity and sweat suits.

This year, our little family is embarking on a very busy, but adventurous December.  Upon returning from a celebration of thankfulness in Texas, my husband reminded me that "we are putting our house on the market in January, and I would like to put a lot of stuff in storage before we show it."  I replied with a simple, "that sounds great!  It will be good to get some clutter and stuff out of the house."

And then he "sprung it on me" that January is next month!  I am a relatively organized person and I LOVE to get rid of things we do not use.  However, our family of 4 and an animal as acquired quite a lot of stuff, clothes, toys, tools, decorations, and MANY other nick knacks that have suddenly started to drive me crazy.  This is even after selling $700 worth of stuff in a garage sale over the Summer!  Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me in this department.

In other news: We will be traveling to my parents' home town to celebrate my grandmother on her 90th birthday with "all the family" as Bug says.  There will be more on this next week, as the birthday party weekend approaches.

December also brings about one of my most favorite words: tradition.  If something happens once, and I enjoyed the happenings; it is likely that I will declare it to be a new tradition.... and I may or may not suggest that we should make a t-shirt or a Styrofoam cup to celebrate it.

Now that I am a parent I have assumed the role of tradition keeper and maker.  Whether it is a tradition from my family or my husbands, I want to keep it and pass it and make it specific to our family.  Here are a few that my husband and I have absorbed from our upbringings:

*some are celebrated solely with one side of the family*

Santa: talking about him, writing him a letter, not idolizing him, but enjoying the tradition of the idea
Chinese food on Christmas Eve
Tamales on Christmas Eve.... real tamales, not greasy or crumbly... only goodness.
Those little poppers with the paper crown and the toy inside (ringing any bells??) at the place setting at Christmas Eve dinner
The decorations are always the same.... as they should be
Runny noses
Christmas tree decorating the day after Thanksgiving
Champagne with frozen peaches at some point surrounding Christmas Day and presents
Stuffing stockings.... to the point of overflow
Nativity scenes
Watching each person as they open their gift, one at a time
The father of the youngest child reading The Night Before Christmas to all the kids on Christmas Eve
Huge big brunch after opening presents
Going to a movie on Christmas Day
Kids racing into the living room to see the Santa gifts
Looking at other people's Christmas lights
Watching White Christmas
Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus
Christmas Eve church service as a family
Leaving cookies and milk for Santa
Christmas pajamas

There are many more that occur throughout the month, but those are the few that mostly surround the actual day of December 25th.

Now that I have my own family, I have started to implement a few of my own traditions.

Tomorrow we begin a new tradition.  (I realize that sentence does not make sense.... but hopefully the action we are beginning tomorrow will become a tradition.... get the idea?)  Over the past couple of months I have gathered children's books on the subject of Christmas; from my parents' house, from our own bookshelves, and with a little help from Amazon to finish out the collection.  We now have 25 books, (poorly) wrapped in (cheap) Christmas wrapping paper, ready to be traditionalized.

Every night after the dinner/bath time dance the girls will get to pick one book from the basket, and then we will read it all together before bed.  I know there will be nights that it doesn't all work picture perfectly as I have made it sound, but that's life with toddlers.... expectations are minimal, but excitement is necessary.

A few of the other things we have started....

Making a gingerbread house (but at our house, "none of that stuff actually tastes good.... it's like all the play food in the kitchen in your room: not for eating, just for playing")
The wreath on our front door.... that we made with the big bulbed colored lights... (think J.Crew Holiday catalog cover: 2007.... you are remembering it now.....)
Sprinkling "Reindeer food" (glitter and bird seed) in the yard on Christmas Eve
Elf on a Shelf.... our Elf is named Glitter and he gets a daily report on how "I was so nice to my friends at school today, Glitter!"  and "Look, Glitter, I'm showing my sister love!"... in hopes that St. Nicholas will hear of her niceties in Glitter's nightly report.

I'm certain, and hopeful, that many more traditions will develop as our family grows..... as long as we don't start participating in that strange "jump in the icy water and swim in there" tradition.  I will steer us more in the warm and safe direction.

Happy December Eve!


  1. LOOOOOVE this. Your new book tradition is fabulous and I'm wondering if I can gather 25 Christmas books in less than a day. Sadly, probably not. I loved reading your list! We have several of the same traditions. Merry!

  2. Great post, Amy! I love the reindeer food and 25 book idea--might have to make some new traditions of my own!