Thursday, December 11, 2008

favorite traditions and ? of the day

I have a few family traditions that I anticipate every Christmas season...some started from birth (or at least it feels like that long ago) and some are from when Chad and I started our own little family traditions.

*We eat appetizers for our Christmas Eve feast. I can't remember the last time we had a big sit down dinner.

*My hubby and I and the kids wear matching Christmas pajamas. *see pics here*

*We open our presents with my family (parents and sister and her family) on Christmas Eve by taking turns, going youngest to oldest, one at a time. It takes forever but it lasts longer and then everyone can see what each other received. I love it.

*My sister and I get each other a crazy/funky/goofy ornament every year. I love seeing what she has found and I love looking for hers.

*The kids and Chad and I have our own little Christmas on Christmas morning. The kids have to wait until Chad and I are up and coffee is brewing until they can open anything. Stockings are always first.

*We head to Chad's dad's to have a HUGE Christmas morning breakfast. We always have egg nog pancakes, biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, fruit. It is quite the spread.

*Chad and I have never waited until Christmas morning to open our gifts....well...we did the first year we were married. Usually, a few nights before Christmas we have our own private gift opening. That sounds so dirty. This year I am hoping to last until Christmas morning....we will see how it goes. I can't promise anything.

Those are just a few things we do that might be the same at your house or they might be completely different. I would love to hear how you all celebrate the season! What are your favorite Christmas traditions??


Bethany said...

Welll... you know the Forsters are a kooky bunch. Mix in the Porters and WHOO!

* the Advent wreath and calendar. Sitting at dinner and lighting the candles is always neat. We don't always share a devotion like we did growing up, but it is neat. Bub understands the calendar and why the presents cannot be opened.

* Candles on the tree. Martin Luther did it. All good Germans do.

* Ray Conniff. The soundtrack of Christmas. All three records are essential. Since Mark and I got married, we've added in "Dominick, The Italian Christmas Donkey." We first heard this song on Sirius, apparently huge in New York, but it is so lovable and sticks in your head. Mark is also huge on the Christmas specials like Rudolph, and of course 24 hours of "The Christmas Story."

* Yankee Gift Exchange. This is a Porter tradition. We all gather at his sister's house and draw numbers. The higher the number, the better. There are the same number of gifts (usually in gift bags) as people, and the first person chooses a gift. They are pretty much white elephant gifts and contain at least one "AS SEEN ON TV" gift. The next person goes and they can either take the person before them's gift or pick a new one. If they pick someone else's gift, THAT person gets to pick again, or take someone else's gift. Much more fun than it sounds like.

* No gifts opened until after Christmas Eve church.

* More than one tree. We have the main tree, which has a different theme every year, as did the trees growing up. We have the memory tree, which has ornaments that may signify a year or something special, like Bub's first Christmas, and then Bub's tree, which has all his ornaments on it.

* Stockings are always filled on Christmas morning, never before.

* Santa always leaves a box of Whitman's chocolates by the door. (Dad started that one.)

Phew! I am out of breath! I love your pajama one!

Michalle said...

You and I have some similiar traditions, Manda!

On Christmas Eve, we get together with my mom's side of the family and do the one present at a time, youngest to oldest. I love seeing what everyone got and letting it drag out longer as well. When everyone goes at once, it's a madhouse and things usually end up lost or broken anyhow. haha

We also do just appetizers on Xmas eve. Finger foods that you can grab and go with.

Christmas day is just with my mom and sister. My mom will make a nice dinner and then we'll do our gifts and then go look at Christmas lights. Good times. :-)

I had a lot more traditions in place when I was younger, but being a single gal in my late 20's doesn't give me much opportunity to have any at this time. I'm sure when I start a family, I'll be CRAZY about it! haha