Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Traditions

The one neat thing about marriage, is the blending of traditions of two families. I am sure that forming one's own family traditions can be filled with some head butting between husband and wife. I have friends who have struggled to accept some of their husband's family's traditions. Like trimming the tree on Christmas Eve instead of sometime in early December. Real vs. Fake, Flocked or unflocked...Or even the argument about what to have for Christmas dinner.

I guess I am lucky, Hubby's family really has no Christmas traditions. So, for the most part, anything I suggest is accepted by hubby. Open one gift on Christmas Eve (pajamas), trim the tree and put up lights the day after Thanksgiving, (only if Hubby is up to it), a toothbrush in the stocking (he's lukewarm to this). Christmas cut out cookies.....made and eaten in two days. These traditions leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy. Maybe it's because my parents really made an effort to make the season special. But a house full of Christmas decorations and cookies really stands out in my mind.

Hubby admitted to me that he has really enjoys the fact that I have made it a priority in providing the kids with wonderful, warm, traditions . It's nice to see Cookie, for the first time really really excited about Christmas. While at the drug store, I noticed that they had Advent Calendars. The old school German kind, the kind I had as a kid. The kind with the really cheap chocolate. The pictures are exactly the same as when I had them too. So, of course, I had to buy one for Cookie. Every morning, since December 1st, the first words out of her mouth is, "may I please open a new door." to her calendar. Of course her excitement is for the chocolate, but watching her allows me to recall all those feelings of love and happiness that I had as a kid. I am hopeful that she, too, will look back to her childhood with the same warm feelings.

Each year, my Mom also bought each of us kids a new ornament for the tree. When I moved to Colorado, I brought all those ornaments with me. For the last four years, as I have decorated our tree, I have been able to recall little pieces of each Christmas in my childhood. So I have carried on the same tradition with my children. Starting with Cookie's first Christmas. I found silver picture frame ornaments on clearance and bought 18 of them. I think they were about $2 each. So, each Christmas I have the year engraved and put a picture of Cookie in one. I have enough to last until she reaches 18. Now I am searching the stores to buy 18 similar ornaments for Jelly Bean. My plan is to have two ornaments for each of the girls, the picture frame, and a special one that represents something that reminds me of each one for the year. This year I bought Cookie a Thomas the Train Engine ornament. Jelly got a Baby's First Christmas.

Traditions are really those comforting things we do to remind ourselves what is important. Whether it is eating dirty rice at Thanksgiving (as our friends do), watching home movies Christmas Eve, or trimming the Christmas tree with a special tree topper, traditions should give each of us the feeling of home.

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