Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Traditions



Thanksgiving went by so fast and now Christmas will be here before we know it. With all the hustle and bustle its hard to remember to make sure to keep up on our Christmas traditions. When I was a kid the holidays were always so much fun. Its a big part of my memories growing up and my dad probably stands out to me the most with Christmas. When I look back I remember him being just  as happy and excited as my sisters and I were. My parents worked a lot so that's probably why the holidays stand out so much in my memories. I even remember my sisters and I sneaking out to get a quick peak before everyone got up. When we lived in Pinetop AZ I remember always going to my grandparents house on Christmas day. On Christmas eve we would get to open one gift. Did you have that tradition? Do you remember the traditions you had when you were a kid and are you still keeping those traditions alive.


Now that my husband and I have our own family, we are creating our own traditions. We are combining my husbands traditions and my own to make our own traditions, making it really work for our household. When we first got together we would go around all day to everyone's home trying to celebrate with both of our family's.  It was great to spend time with everyone, but extremely exhausting. Once we had kids we really started limiting the places we would go on Christmas. Then once we had 3 kids we decided no more. We decided to stay at our own house on Christmas. If family would like to see the kids and us they are more than welcome to join us at our home, but we decided it was best for us to stay put. The kids never wanted to leave our house on Christmas anyhow, so we were able to avoid that fight all together and enjoy a relaxing environment.  Plus all that unloading kids, food, packages etc was so nice not to have to do. Since we stopped driving all over the place, we had to think about what we would do at home. We needed to start our own family traditions.  

The first part of our Christmas day traditions start on Christmas Eve. The kids help make cookies for Santa, then get in their Christmas PJs to we watch a Christmas movie. After the movie we gather around the tree each child gets to open one gift of their choice and we snap a shot in front of the tree. We always leave cookies hot chocolate for Santa last year we started throw Reindeer food out on the grass for the reindeers.  After throwing reindeer food the kids head to bed to enjoy a Christmas story.


Now every Christmas morning I wake up early to get some homemade cinnamon rolls going so we can eat them while we sit around in our pjs in front of the tree and open gifts. When the kids wake up they have to wait for everyone to go downstairs together. I  always go first to snap a photo of their faces when they come down the stairs. The excitement on their faces is pure joy it warms my heart.


 Remember when you were a kid, being so excited the night before Christmas that you couldn't sleep?  That moment you woke up and the instant smile on your face running from room to room.  As you get older this excitement changes, but I feel the real excitement begins when you are a parent and you get to wittiness this excitement on your child's face. To me it makes all the hustle and bustle and prep work worth it, making smiles bring that energy alive and topping it off with the fact that your kids know the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. This is the moment I live for on Christmas, the pure joy in a families heart shining through their bodies.





 It doesn't stop there as our family all gathers around the tree we watch the kids tear through their gifts watching smile after smile it amazes me. After we have finished with the gifts, the kids are usually checking out their new stuff and watching the Macy's parade.



Then the warmth moves into the kitchen where the adults come together to make eggs Benedict. Once the breakfast is ready everyone gathers around the table to snap a photo together and enjoy the yummy food. During the day we relax, play with the kids, watch a Christmas movie and talk about Jesus. 





For dinner we always have fresh tamales that I make. I try to do all the prep work the day before so on Christmas they just need to be cooked. The hubby, kids and I always love the warm feeling of being at home and having a fun day together.






At the end of the night when the kids are down the hubby and I look around at the storm that has hit our house then curl up on the sofa to relax and leave the mess for another day. We talk about the day the highlights and the things that the kids might have said and every year I feel like the day went by way to fast. Christmas is such a miracle its the birth of Jesus and with that it brings a great day of reflection to everyone which is much needed.  At the end of the day its not about about the gifts its about bring everyone together on a day of celebration for Jesus we are so lucky that we can celebrate in the manner we do.



Before Christmas comes we do some traditions like Elf on the Shelf, Advent calendar, baking cookies, gingerbread houses, Christmas movie nights, driving around to look at Christmas lights and decorations, and a couple other activities they had back in Orange County. Now with us being in Boise we will have to find new holiday activities to turn into traditions. 

How do you feel about holiday traditions? What traditions do you have with your family? Are you planning to start new family traditions this year?

On this Christmas day remember to take a moment to thank the Lord for  the many blessings that you have received.


18 comments:

  1. I love traditions. My boyfriend isn't into them and doesn't really like holidays, so I'm trying to come up with some simple ones that don't involve too much. We do an advent calendar and I'm starting the 12 Days of Christmas for a friend tonight and am hoping he'll go with me. Other than that, we video ourselves opening presents in the morning and send that to our families and than I make biscuits and gravy for breakfast before making a Thanksgiving-like meal for dinner. Oh, and we go look at Christmas lights the night before.

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  2. I can't wait for Christmas, except we'll be flying in and arriving around midnight on Christmas itself. So my Mom is saving the Christmas turkey and ham for Boxing Day. I can't wait to sit around my parents fire and warm up :)

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  3. So excited for Christmas! You look like you had tons of fun with your family. :)

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful holiday! This year I'm making a Christmas dinner. One of our traditions is making cookies together on Christmas eve :)

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  5. What wonderful traditions! We have family all over, so no two Christmases were exactly the same. One thing that was more or less constant was the fact that my parents never made us eat a regular breakfast on Christmas morning--we were allowed to eat the candy in our stockings!

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  6. Ok... you know how to make Tamales!? I am so jealous! I know I missed the point, but as soon as I got to that part I just couldn't think about anything else ;) I am happy for you that you are making your own traditions for yourselves :)

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  7. My husband and I were just discussing this the other day. We will have two kids by next Christmas and coordinating plans for this one has been a challenge with such a large family so we were thinking we might just stay home next year as well! Christmas at your house looks fun though! I wouldn't want to leave either! ;)

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  8. Your family traditions is so heartwarming! All of you really relish each moment of the holiday! That is absolutely inspiring! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Traditions are always something to look forward to on any special occasion. Ours is to open gifts Christmas morning, in our pajamas, and then have chai or hot chocolate. <3

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  10. We thank the lord every day for our blessings, and the gift of our family. Christmas day we actually have a Happy Birthday Jesus party too! (Even though he birth wasn't really on Dec. 25th, but it's the day we all celebrate that special time!) :D

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  11. I love holiday traditions! My favorite is our Christmas Eve dinner we have.

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  12. Your kids are beautiful! I am so excited for Christmas this year!

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  13. Making tamales for Christmas is a tradition for both my husband and I since childhood and I love being able to share that with our kids! We are all so blessed and I'm very grateful. May your family always be blessed!

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  14. I am Hispanic, therefore a Christmas without "pasteles" and "coquito" does not feel like Christmas to me. We also love decorating our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and getting a new Christmas ornament each year... Thanks for sharing ;o)

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  15. These are some great traditions! Every year, my uncle comes over on Christmas Eve and we do gifts with him, and then we do the rest of our gifts with my family and my grandma on Christmas morning. :)

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  16. We also have the one-present-on-Christmas-Eve tradition. And we have several holiday movies we watch together. I make chocolate covered pretzels for the family. :)

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  17. I love Christmas traditions and everyone has a little different things. I have the kids open one little gift the day before Christmas.

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  18. I love hearing about everyone's traditions. This is my first Christmas with my husband and I'm super excited about starting our own Christmas traditions.

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