Yesterday I was working on a tradition we have with the kids and was thinking about all the traditions I had as a kid, which ones I transferred over for my kids, and which ones Pete and I have started with our family, and thought I'd share some with you guys:
The kids get new pajamas every Christmas Eve
This one is kind of carried over from when I was younger. Every Christmas Eve my mom and dad would give me and my brother a book on Christmas Eve. We did this for Paige's first and second Christmases.
We changed it for Nate's first Christmas when we realized that neither of the kids had picture worthy pajamas for Christmas morning; they were all holey, mismatched, or severely stained. We found good pajamas either at garage sales or thrift stores, and in 2007 this tradition was born.
|Christmas 2010 - Gray fleece pj pants|
The tradition changed yet again in 2010 when I stumbled upon a tutorial online for making pajama pants. I bought the fabric and coordinating shirts for the kids, and got to work. It was a pain to make the pants, but the kids LOVED them! I used a different tutorial in 2011, and the pants not only were easier to make, but they fit better on the kids as well.
|Christmas 2011 - Green and white stripe pj pants|
I wasn't planning on making pajama pants this year due to time constraints, but when I overheard Paige and Nate discussing what color they thought I would make this year, I knew that this tradition had stuck and could not be broken! I'm pleased to say I finished the pants yesterday, and I can't wait to see the kids in them! I'll post a picture after Christmas; silly me wrapped the pants without taking a blog picture first!
Cinnamon raisin swirl bread for Christmas breakfast
|It always gets served on this platter, too!|
Another tradition carried over from my childhood, but adapted for my family. Every Christmas morning, my parents would make Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for while we opened our stockings, then another batch for while we opened our bigger gifts. I loved this tradition, as we only got these special rolls on Christmas and then again on New Year's day, but when we first got married, our budget didn't allow for us to purchase them. After digging through my cookbooks for a suitable replacement, I found a recipe for cinnamon raisin swirl bread, and we loved it so much we have it every Christmas morning while we open our gifts.
Pete reads the Christmas story before we unwrap any gifts
|Getting ready to hear about Jesus' birth|
I know Pete's family would read the story (found in the Bible in the book of Luke) during Christmas time. I didn't grow up a Christian, so we never read the story. I think this one started in 2008; it was the first year we had the house, and we wanted to really establish some great Biblical foundations with our kids. We thought this was a great way to keep us all focused on the real reason for the season! Last year Paige found the Bible before we did and was all ready for Daddy to read it!
We give three gifts to the kids for Christmas
|Still a nice sized pile of gifts under the tree|
The exceptions to the rule: Stockings and the gifts the kids give to each other don't count, and small things wrapped up in a box count as one gift. For example, we got Paige some headbands and a new hat. Because they're similar items, they're all in a box together and that counts as one gift. Ryan is getting an apron and a cape, and they're wrapped up together as one gift.
Some things show up every year in our stockings
This is from both Pete's and my childhood. I always got candy in my stocking; it was usually a chocolate orange (you know, the ones you get to whack really hard first? Yum!), but because not all of us like them (and I think I'm now allergic to artificial orange flavoring, boo), we do the Reese's peanut butter cup Christmas trees every year. Pete always got a tooth brush in his stocking, so the kids get fancy ones (we usually buy cheap ones for during the year), and now they get flossers and the fun kind of toothpaste they like.
There are still some traditions I had growing up that haven't quite established themselves as traditions for our family, and it makes me sad:
We always had Christmas eve dinner by candle light; with young kids you can probably figure out why that's not a tradition yet! But we're getting there, and I think it'll stick soon.
We always had the same dinner year after year as well. When I was younger it was always my mom's beef stew. As we grew up, my brother didn't like it any more (I swear he's adopted!), so we switched to manicotti.
There was always a Table Santa Present on our plates for Christmas breakfast. It was always wrapped in white tissue paper, and it came from Santa. I think the story behind this one was that when my brother and I were younger, my mom and dad didn't have much money to spend on each other, so they'd buy something small for each other and leave it on each other's breakfast plates (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on this one, Mom!). This one continued even after Jeremy and I stopped believing in Santa, and was always just that little something extra that made the mornings more fun.
What are your Christmas traditions? Have you carried over any from your childhood?