hoilday traditions

Cynthia - posted on 11/26/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Christmas time is almost here and I just wandered what everyone's Christmas tradition is. We allow the kids to open one present on Christmas Eve. Then in the morning, before the kids are allowed to see the tree, my husband will turn on the lights. Then we open all the presents and then it is breakfast time.

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ChrisTina - posted on 01/02/2011

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We dont celebrate xmas but we do celebrate the turning of the seasons. We usualy have a big bon fire with lots of mallows, Hopefully it snowed because then we would give the snow-woman a mollow on a willow stick too. lol! Then we have painting or crafts to bring in the longest night. Then a big family dinner, wild movies and gifts.Sometimes we sing silly songs about all manor of old gods, or the wiccan night before yule! Its a rawr! Most the time we buy crafting gifts or artisy stuff for the kids and books and brooms for the adults. Its a wonderful time of year and It always has our great BIG extensive family! Yay for Yule! IT was soo much fun!

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All of our "traditions" are new, as my childhood was a little too scattered to have any rituals, and hubby's family didn't really do anything special that he has told me about, other than decorating and certain foods.
We always go see "The Nutcracker", The Festival of Trees, drive around and look at Christmas Lights, Roper Mountain Lights (that's where we see St. Nick), Live Nativity/Journey to Bethlehem, and watch a few Christmas movies between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We don't have a set time for any of it, but we spread it out though the weeks.
I also pull out all of our Christmas themed children's books and start reading those in the evening (instead of or in addition to his regular bed time stories)
My family has a Christmas Party / dinner the Saturday before Christmas where we all bring inexpensive gifts and play Christmas Bingo. It's fun, and cuts down on the amount of gifts we have to buy.
Christmas Eve, we have dinner with my parents and sister at their home and exchange gifts.
We wrap most of the gifts and put them under the tree as we get them, but we reserve a few to be from St.Nick. We wrap those in special paper and put them out after J is asleep.
Christmas morning, J usually wakes up before us and comes into our room to wake us up before he can touch the presents. We take turns opening things until it's all open, then hubby cooks a fabulous breakfast.
At some point during the morning, both our parents come visit so J can show them his new things (and we can too ;))
Later Christmas Day, we go to hubby's mom's house for dinner with his family.
The week after Christmas, we had been renting a cabin in the mountains so that hubby and J could have a "white Christmas" as well, and we bring a couple of gifts to put under the tree there just from us--usually snow toys and coats. It does not usually get cold enough to snow here, but this year, we got a special surprise with a Christmas snow for the first time since 1963! So we stayed home and let J play all week, and i think we will be doing so from now on. It was nice to just relax, and we don't "really" need a White Christmas every year...

Kelly - posted on 01/01/2011

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This is my son's first Christmas he is 10 months old. This year his sisters go to their moms at 12noon on christmas eve and on christmas day they leave her home at 12 noon again... We have been making it traditional that when they are here on the 23rd that evening is when we read the night before christmas and then we read it again just the baby and i on the 24th since it is actually the night before christmas. My husband and i took turns videoing the little things we do each year in preparation for santa clause, I turned on the lights to the house and tree and trains. . . then connor and i put the cookies on a dish with some celery and milk and we put the "magic" key on the door knob to our front door. After that i put him to bed and waited a few minutes and went to his room to video him sleepnig after that we added his girfts from santa to the gifts from my husband and i that were already under the tree...then we videoed that as well as the cookies and milk gone and the key moved...now on tape it looks like it was magical because the gifts just appear. . . Im excited about it!!! Tommorow we will pick up the girls!!!! they will come home and we will all go directly to their aunts house to clebrate with them for the day then come home and the 3 children will open their presents from my husband and i together in the evening!!! next year they will all open all their gifts from santa in the morning together and then spend the day at their aunts following that. After that, they will go to their mothers house at 12 again but for the christmas holiday. it gets tough to work around so many schedules but we manage with a little love and a lotta frusteration! :) But it worth it. What do you other moms do with step children ?

Lisa - posted on 11/27/2010

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Such a nice post! For Chrismas Eve we open presents with my DH Czech family as that is their Xmas time. We eat Weinerschnitzel and potato salad and have a mad opening of presents. I always read the Night Before Christmas (just like the National Lampoons!) Xmas morning is at home with the kids and it is up early and stocking (always with a mandarin orange in each stocking) and then of course presents. They my DH cooks the biggest Christmas breakfast and then it is outside if it is warm enough for sledding or skating. Xmas dinner is going to be a new tradition at my house starting this year. NO TURKEY - I want something different so I am making a French all meat stew called a Cassoulait and rib eye steaks (per my uncles request) and home made Irish Soda bread. When the kids get older I hope to do some Xmas caroling around the neighbourhood like I used to as a kid! Happy Holidays everyone!

Ricky - posted on 11/27/2010

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I go to my folks for christmas eve. Before we go to my aunts/uncles (my dad and his siblings take turn each year hosting christmas dinner) we let my son(18months), who is my parents only grandchild open a couple presents. We then go to my aunts/uncles and have dinner and when everyone is done eating we open gifts. When everyone gets tired we go back to my parents and open our gifts to each other. Christmas day my son and I visit my aunts from my moms side of the family then go back home to see my grinch of a bf (who would rather work christmas eve then spend it with my family and me) and have christmas dinner and open our presents for each other.

Hilary - posted on 11/27/2010

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Our family Christmases have evolved over the years, but are now very much what I grew up with..I wonder how I managed that?! The tree usually is up in early December, and gifts from friends and family are collected under it. Christmas Eve in the afternoon we try to find something for the kids to do, this year its a canal trip with a visit from Father Christmas. We put out beer and snacks for the Man in Red, cos there's only so much milk and cookies a man can eat! After the kids go to bed, the surprises and stockings are laid out in our living room, and we head for bed. The kids open the gifts from Father Christmas when they get up, then we have breakfast and open other gifts from under the tree. We usually end up having lunch mid afternoon.
If we have the grandparents here with us, its not every year because Hubby and I both have siblings, everything gets a bit behind times because they don't get up so early! But we love it, well..I love it, the kids love it and Hubby thinks we're all a bit mad but goes along for the ride. Happy Christmas everyone!!! x

Kristi - posted on 11/27/2010

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We usually put our Christmas Tree and decorations up the day after Thanksgiving, however, we're trying to move this year, so we haven't gotten anything out yet. It's a bummer, but we really need to move lol. We also let the kids open all the gifts from us and the family on Christmas Eve, we set out cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for his reindeer. Then on Christmas morning, they get to open gifts from Santa. I really enjoy the holidays! I'm so mixed up this year with the move it's not even funny!! But we'll get it all worked out =).

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Oh, I forgot one important one. My mom and I always find some time to be together and watch It's a Wonderful Life. We've done this every year since I was in my late teens....and we never get bored of watching this movie. I hope one day my daughters will watch it with me too!

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I am loving all these Christmas posts. I am going to have to dig out my Christmas music soon! LOL.
Anyway, the challenge we have as a family right now is deciding what traditions to keep from our own childhood and what new ones to begin with our own. One I definitely kept from my childhood is reading about the birth of Jesus from the Bible BEFORE any present are open. My mom and I always did this, and it is just a nice way to remind ourselves the reason for season (at least for us). I let my children write letters and visit Santa, but I also want them to know that there is more to the holidays than getting gifts. They also have to go through their toys and donate anything they don't play with to charity. Or, if they have done a big clean out in the summer for a a garage sale, we pick a name off the Angel Tree at the local mall and buy a gift. I want them to learn about giving too and the joy that can come from serving others.
When I was little we used to cut our own tree down from grandparents farm, so we have found a local tree farm that we go to each year. Some of our new ones are the Advent Calendars ---- ironically, Grandma.....who never let her OWN child have chocolate everyday.....buys these for her grandchildren. HA, somethings you just to let go. We visit Santa at the mall and get the requisite holiday pic. And one of the best events for the kids is watching our town's Santa Claus parade. They are allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve....never a toy - usually new PJ's, bedsheets, or a book. Then cookies and milk are left for Santa.
As for mommy and daddy.......well, my husband usually has to work Christmas Eve and/or morning, so we haven't really started any "after kids are in bed" ones of our own :-( More often it is just me finishing up any wrapping, playing Santa, and going to bed alone. But this is his year to be at home......so I might have to update after Christmas. But then again......I might not be able to share....at least not in this blog. ha ha

Kathryn - posted on 11/27/2010

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Daa after Thanksgiving is tree day. We put up the tree eat turkey sandwiches, watch Christmas cartoons, and drink hot cocoa. Duirng the evening we go to the Christmas Light dispay at our local zoo.



Friday we go to the train station to ride on "Santa Train." Come home and put orniments on the tree.



Christmas eve is movie night. We watch a couple of Christmas movies, drink hot cocoa, and open one small present. After kid is in bed we play old Christmas music till midnight. We set up blankets at the entry way to the "tree room" and when my son wakes up he goes into mommy and daddy's room for some hot cocoa and christmas cartoons. When I am all set up with the camera, hubby and son walk into the room all lit up. We open presents and play until early dinner.



This year we will be expecting our second child around Christmas so we decided if plans do go our way, we will just do it on a different day :( But at least we culd do it as a family.

Kimberly - posted on 11/26/2010

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Talking about Christmas traditions bring back so many childhood memories (sighs) Boy do I miss those days!!!...I allow my kids to open one present on Christmas eve as well...I let the kids put cookies and milk out for "Santa" before they go to bed and when they fall asleep, bring out the best toys they knew nothing about :)...Then we open all the presents on Christmas morning and swap hugs, kisses, and I love yous...Later we have a big dinner for the whole family. Watching all the excitement is worth the getting up super early and the tiredness that morning and I plan to be ready this year. I only hope my children will do the same as they get older and look back on all the happy times we shared together...I know I will always remember...Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

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