Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Family Traditions

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about traditions... Thanksgiving traditions, Christmas traditions, New Years Eve traditions, and just general traditions... what traditions I most enjoyed growing up, what traditions I'd like to carry on with Carson, and new traditions I'd like to start. So I thought Id' do a quick post about it. I'd love to hear what your favorite traditions are, too, so please leave some comments with your favorites.

We started our Christmas traditions on Black Friday by putting up our Christmas tree and decorations. This was the day that many people put up their tree and the day that I grew up doing it. Its just a nice way to spend some time together as a family. We play Christmas music and sing and dance and just have fun. Carson loved it this year!

Ornaments. My mom always bought my sister and me a tree ornament each year - something to symbolize what we were into or accomplished that year. I will definitely be carrying this one on with Carson. I haven't found his ornament this year yet, though... hopefully I'll be lucky and find it this week! We always kept our own box of ornaments and I always loved getting them out each Christmas and hanging them all up on the tree on my own. We would talk about what we remembered about what each ornament symbolized and it was always so fun. I hope that Carson will love this tradition, as well. I think he will, since he loved hearing about last year's ornament and picking out a special place on the tree to hang it already this year.

Christmas cookies. My family has always baked a number of different family favorite Christmas cookie recipes - to name a few... chocolate covered cherry cookies, banana drop cookies, and of course the traditional cut-out sugar cookies. I'll definitely do the traditional cut-out sugar cookies with Carson every year and we'll do up a variety of other cookies, as well. This year I think we'll make banana drop, monster, biscotti, PB kiss, thumbprint, and cut-out sugar cookies. Carson loves to help in the kitchen, no matter what the task, so I know he will love this tradition this year - and hopefully for many, many years to come!

The Christmas Story. This is one that I need to do some more thinking about. I think it is ultimately important and I want to come up with some fun, creative ways to teach Carson about the Christmas Story. I know I want to get an Advent Calendar/Tree, but I haven't found one that I love yet, so I might have to wait till next year for this tradition, or just start it a little late. I realized last week that while I bought my nieces and nephew books last year about the Christmas Story, I didn't get one for Carson! So that is the first thing on the list - to get some books so we can read about it. But I want to do more. If you have any ideas you'd like to share on this one especially, please do!

Christmas lights. Growing up, we'd always take a drive on Christmas Eve after our family parties to look at all of the Christmas lights and outdoor decorations. I always loved it and I know that Carson will love it, too, as he already loves to look at the lights on the houses we pass on the road. We'd always sing Christmas carols while we were driving and looking, too, so that just seemed to make it extra fun!

Santa Claus. While I don't want Christmas centered around Santa whatsoever, I do want to carry on this tradition with Carson. We'll take him to visit Santa and we'll fill his stocking and have some gifts under the tree from Santa on Christmas morning.

Christmas morning. Waking up super early and being filled with anticipation and excitement is what I remember most as a child. I hope to instill this same sense of excitement in Carson, as well. I don't think Carson will wake up any earlier than normal this year, but I'm sure he will in years to come. We'll get up, discover our stockings, open our gifts, cook and eat a huge, yummy breakfast, read the Christmas story, and just spend some time together relaxing as a family before we hit the road for a family party in the afternoon.

I think those are the main Christmas traditions we'll continue on with Carson. I'm sure we'll add more and I'm sure I missed a few small ones - like watching the classic Christmas movies on TV and things like that. I've been trying to think up some fun New Years' Eve traditions, but my list for that is pretty short. I'd love to hear any ideas you have for that holiday, as well as all of your Christmas traditions!


Anonymous said...

We always went through the Christmas story with our nativity scene. We'd go through everything as we set each piece in.

Sara said...

Oooh, that's a wonderful idea! I have to get my nativity scene out - I knew something was missing when we got our Christmas decorations out... Thanks!!

The Voogts said...

sounds like some great traditions. I'm going to try to start a few this year. But I think a lot of them come with time, as your kids get older. So don't work too hard trying to set them all so soon ;)

Sara said...

The only one I'm really looking to start is the Advent calendar or tree, so they don't take any extra effort at all. We've always done all of the others... we did them all last year and Kevin and I have done them together for years before that and I've always done them growing up. I think we'll end up adding more to the list as Carson gets older - like making homemade tree ornaments or something like that maybe... who knows. But I definitely don't think its too early for any of the traditions I've listed... I think all of these actually need to be started at a very young age (with the exception of maybe driving to see the lights).

What traditions are you going to start this year?

Mary Voogt said...

Not totally sure. I want to do Christmas cookies for sure. And really focus on the true meaning of Christmas. And keep up with ornaments for each year(whether boughten or homemade). But other than that I don't know yet. I remember always making a construction paper chain when I was little...then taking one off each day counting down to Christmas. Maybe I'll try that with Rebecca. And definitely our advent calendar...but I'm already behind...I haven't gotten it out yet! And I still need to figure out what to put behind each door. All in good time :)