Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Favorites

I remember the Christmas I turned 15. I absolutely got nothing out of it at all, the Christmas spirit had taken a Mexican vacation and left me behind to deal with the festivities.

Every year since, I have been afraid that I would experience this lapse in spirit. Thankfully it hasn't happened since. It must have been a teenaged angst thing.

But growing up Christmas was never such a big deal in our house. We didn't attend Church so the festivities consisted of going for a Christmas light drive on Christmas Eve and then turning in early so that Santa would come - and then waking up to gift opening. With my mom this sometimes would happen at 3am. I remember one year that we were woken up at 3am and after we opened all of our presents we were promptly sent to bed....:(! My mom has always been way over excited to give the presents. I remember thinking how completley unfair it was that we had to go back to bed, I had just received the best barbie ever!!!!! Mom had even sewed both my sister and I an orange crate full of barbie clothes!

Now we may not have had a lot of traditions but what we did have made me appreciate them even more. One thing we always had was dinner at Granny's. There was never a better meal than that Christmas dinner, but doesn't everything taste better at Grandma's!!!!

When I met my dear hubby his family had huge traditions. I remember the first time I saw his parent's house at Christmas time. It looked like someone had bought out the entire Christmas aisle and set it all up in their living room. That was way way back when the tinsel style decor was all the rage. The ceiling sparkeled as ropes and stars swayed to and fro. I felt like I had walked into the North Pole!

We've carried on many of these traditions and added a few more. These days we still decorate quite a bit, but we do so with a bit less flash and shine and more traditional with green boughs and ribbons, but we still have plenty of twinkling lights to make the house merry.

His family always had a big breakfast on Christmas morning with all kinds of special treats, fresh croissants, bacon and fresh OJ. This has been a wonderful tradition to continue on with and each year the kids start asking what we'll have for breakfast. I'm a big fan of waffles with strawberries - I think that will be on the list this year when we have hubby's folks over for breakfast.

Now that we are in our first home - this Christmas feels just that much more special. I'm very happy to be celebrating our first Christmas dinner with my family. I have my Granny coming over(she is 92) and she is just so excited to see the house all decorated. She always loves how we decorate - she has always been impressed with the 'North Pole' look. Still at 92, she has that little girl in her that just loves to see the twinkling lights and decorated ceilings.

Now I'll share an unusual tradition that we've begun together as a family. I found a pattern years ago for a crocheted pickle. The tradition is that you leave the pickle out on Christmas Eve and Santa hides it in the tree. Come Christmas morning everyone takes a turn to find the pickle. Whoever finds it, gets a special gift. We've always ensured that this was a gift that the whole family would enjoy, a game or a movie for the whole family.

Even as our kids grow and begin turning into young adults - they still crave all of the tradition that we've created to make Christmas extra special. They'll never let us forget on Christmas eve to leave the pickle out for Santa!

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