Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Holiday Traditions

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Current mood: excited

I was just realizing the other day, that this is the first thanksgiving in a long time that I can remember NOT falling on the 27th or the 28th (: I'm _so_ used to immediately taking down my thanksgiving decorations and putting up the Christmas decorations, that I forgot. (:

When I was kid growing up, Christmas decorations did _not_ go up before the first of December. And they always came down the day after New Years (: So, instead of getting my Christmas decorations out of storage this weekend when I was putting my halloween and thanksgiving ones away... I left them sit for next weekend (:

It got me thinking about the other Christmas traditions I remember as a kid, that I've been (and intend to continue) sharing with my own family (: Crhristmas is a month long celebration at my house. Like Advent calendars. For the last four years, I've waited until Thanksgiving to go out and look for them--and they were so expensive, I only got them for my son. (The baby was too young last year for them, but he'll get his first this year.) So I planned ahead this year-- looked around on-line, and bought enough for my kids, the neices and nephews, and the neighbor's daughter and got them mailed out in time so that they can USE them starting December 1st (: So what's an advent calendar? At least the ones we used (and the ones that the kids are interested in) have 24 "windows" on a christmas related picture--and behind each one is a chocolate. It's a count-down to christmas (:

The first weekend in December is when we get out the decorations, decorate the house and set up the Christmas tree. I make sure my Christmas pyramid is going to have enough candles to make it through the month. [You might be noticing a decidely German bent to our holiday at this point, if you know what to look for (: ]And we set up our nativity where it's easy to see, but hard for little hands to break. I was so pleased when my mother passed it on to me(: My grandmother Carol made it. And my sister and I named the donkey "Mr. T" because of his mohawk and the A-Team was really popular on television and Mr. T was cool (: So if nothing else, it lets you know that this nativity is at least 20 years old.

Then, there's St. Nicholaus Day. December 6th. It's the night that Saint Nicholaus checks his lists for good boys and girls. You set out your shoes with hay, lettuce, and carrots for the reindeer to eat when they stop at your house. And St. Nicholaus will fill your shoes with chocolates, candies and other small goodies.

Then there's the gingerbread houses. Baking cookies of all kinds...oh for marzipani! (I finally got a recipe, now I just need to order marzipan!) A bowl of mixed nuts that never seems to run out with little bowls around it to put the shells in after you crack them. Making ornaments from salt-dough. Paper crafts--homemade wreaths and window decorations. Writing a letter to Santa--and getting a response! Candles (electric of course) in the windows. Taking the boys to go christmas shopping so that _they_ can choose presents to give...what I wouldn't give for a Kris Kringle Mart! Gluehwein and hot spiced cider. Sing Christmas carols with friends and family. Watching ALL the christmas movies we own...plus the ones that come on tv that we don't (: Giving change to the bell-ringers for the Salvations Army-- my mother always handed the change to us kids to do it, and so I do the same for mine (: Having the kids choose toys for toys-for-tots. A different Christmas bedtime story every night (I'm gathering the books right now from storage!). Opening a single present christmas eve. And making Christmas breakfast (:

I'd add playing in the snow, but it's VERY unlikely in our current location. Which is too bad. Because last year we had a blast with sled rides down the hill, snow angles, snow ball fights and chasing the dogs through the snow. Although there will be Christmas parades (: And other local Christmas events that we'll get out and about the participate in (: Like I said, for my family, it's a month long celebration, and:

Christmas is definitely one of my favorite holidays, if not my actual favorite! I still get all excited about it. I still can't sleep through Christmas eve and I still wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning (: All the good memories from the past (: And hoping to share them with my kids... it's what traditions are all about.

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