I mentioned in a previous post that I haven’t had much Christmas spirit. I haven’t even put up a Christmas tree at this point. Actually, I haven’t put out one single Christmas decoration. I haven’t even had the excitement about buying presents. I was worried that my Christmas joy had been robbed from me. It wasn’t until this weekend that I realized that eliminating some of the stress surrounding Christmas has made me more thankful for my Christmas traditions. In honor of my Christmas mentality this year, I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite Christmas traditions…
1. My mom’s sugar cookies-Mmmm…made with love by one that I love
2. Christmas Eve and the ugly PJ exchange-My mom’s family has always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. As a child, it was the best Christmas memory at Grandma’s house. Over the years, the celebration has migrated to my Mom’s house where it has remained one of my favorite Christmas traditions. We have since added new traditions, more to be addressed, but one of our newer traditions is an ugly PJ exchange. Everyone is to bring a pair of hideous pj’s to exchange and we all fight over the ugliest pair. It’s so much fun and as a bonus I get a new pair of jammies to wear on Christmas night.
3. My father in law’s delicious fudge-Yup, another Mmmm…
4. Christmas breakfast with Wade’s parents-Since Wade and I have been married we have carried on the tradition of breakfast with his parents. The first year, my mother in law requested for us to stay in our pajamas (which by the way were pretty ugly), we obliged. It has become our family tradition. Every year, Wade and I wake up and rush over to his parent’s house for a delish Christmas breakfast (fudge included) and exchange gifts. I love this relatively new Christmas tradition.
5. The Sowaskie Christmas card- Every year, Wade and I receive a card from his Aunt and Uncle that also includes a letter. I always look forward to its arrival. The Christmas card is usually a creative photo of all of the Sowaskie’s, it typically gives me a good giggle. The letter keeps us posted on their yearly events. Since we don’t get to see them often, we look forward to learning about their family experiences and achievements.
6. Christmas Eve travels to the barn-A few years ago, my mom made my entire family bundle up and walk out to the barn. We gathered in a circle and read the true Christmas story. You know the one about the birth of our savior. I remember thinking she was a little bit crazy, all of us huddle in the barn surrounded by the stench of farm animals but it has quickly become one of my favorite traditions. A little strange? Probably to most but it’s a family bonding experience and it’s our tradition.
7. My mom’s Christmas spirit- My mom loves Christmas. I don’t think that I have yet to encounter a person that enjoys it more. I love that about her.
8. Going home for Christmas- Along with my mom’s awesome Christmas spirit comes a home decked out with Christmas decorations. It doesn’t seem like Christmas until I’ve been home.
9. My husband’s Christmas spirit- One of our first’s Christmas’ as a married couple, Wade expressed one of his favorite childhood Christmas memories. He mentioned how he loved going away Thanksgiving night to hunt and coming home to a house completely decorated for Christmas. His excitement over Christmas decorations is almost contagious.
10. Ornaments- For as long as I can remember, my mom has put an ornament in my stocking. It always paid tribute to a major event that happened during the year. I have always looked forward to finding it in my stocking on Christmas day. I love that she did this for me. Now, I look back at the ornaments and have a special memory attached to each. I enjoyed the tradition so much that I have kept up with a yearly ornament. Every vacation or special event that Wade and I experience together I attempt to purchase an ornament to represent it. This tradition has made decorating the Christmas tree a trip down memory lane.
11. Watching the Christmas Story with my hubby, in ugly pajamas, after my families Christmas Eve Celebration
12. My nativity display under the tree- Even though it hasn’t been unpacked this year, this is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. When I was younger, our family tree always had a nativity scene underneath it. A few years ago my mom was going to donate that set. I just couldn’t see my childhood memory donated so it has become a Christmas staple in our home. It to, brings joyful Christmas memories.
13. Christmas Day- For Wade and I, Christmas day is crazy. We basically wake up running. We go to his parent’s house in our pj’s, then back to our house to shower. Then to my parent’s house to pick them up to head to my sister’s house for Christmas lunch. This is a moment that I have grown to love. Since the birth of my nieces and nephews, my mom, dad, brother, and I have made an effort to travel to her house to see the kids. Those little bugs are always in their pajamas with crazy hair (love). We all sit as a family inspecting and playing with the kid’s new toys. After lunch, Wade and I head back home to have dinner with his Dad’s side of the family. We eat tons of food, consume a couple glasses of wine, and enjoy lots of laughs. All of us sit around soaking in the day’s events. Yes, Christmas day is a crazy day for us but I wouldn’t change a thing.
14. And of course, being surrounded by my amazing family!