Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Traditions

My family is not too big on traditions.  Sometimes I wish we were but honestly with all of our moves, each holiday can often be quite different from the year before.  Throw in a husband's crazy schedule and the fact that he has missed a few holidays here and there, and well, we do the best we can.  We have also learned that being flexible can help keep disappointment at bay.

It's all about the memories, right?

Like the year he flew on Christmas so we pretended Christmas was the day before and celebrated a day early.  A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do! ;)

A few things we do hold dear and try to keep the same each year-

Christmas Books!  We have a basket of Christmas books we bring out each year and read through.  Some we read together and others disappear to certain children's rooms for a period of time.  We have even read most of them under the lights of the Christmas tree when the kids were younger.  Each year we usually add at least one to our collection and someday I will look forward to reading them to grandchildren maybe.

Advent devotions!  Each year this looks a little different for us but we love the advent season.   The anticipation of each week drawing closer to Christmas is just intensified when we focus on the birth of Jesus!  Four years ago we discovered the books Jotham's Journey, Tabitha's Travels, Bartholomew's Passage  and Ishtar's Odyssey.  We cycled through reading them and began again this year with Jotham's Journey!  Even the big kids will sit with us each night and read a quick chapter together during our family time.  Such precious memories we are making.

Nativities!  We love putting up various Nativity scenes around the house.  Some years they all make it out and other year we pick and choose, depending on the space.  Each child also has a special one for their rooms that they will eventually take with them.


Christmas Eve Buffet!  After going to our church's Christmas Eve service we return home to a fun family dinner comprising of each person's favorite "fun" food!  We let each person pick what they want and then that's what is for dinner.  For the past several years we have invited others into our craziness, making it even more fun to see what everyone will choose.  Someone in our family still  votes yearly for ice cream, but we do try to encourage  something with a little more nutritional value.  I can tell you shrimp, bacon rapped water chestnuts, and crab dip always make the cut!

Looking at Christmas lights!  We do try to take one night to pile in the car and drive around looking at the lights in the neighborhood.  I always thought it would be fun to do in our pajamas, but we have lived in some pretty cold places folks, and my hubby does not always entertain the same idea of fun as I do.

Christmas morning coffee cake!  My mom started this one for us about 6 or 7 years ago.  She gave us this beautiful pie plate that has a recipe for coffee cake on it.  Each Christmas morning we make it and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in between opening stockings and gifts.  The only thing you have to watch for is that once you pour the batter in, you are out of luck for the icing recipe if you have not written it down before hand.  Ask me how I know this!

See?  Simple but fun!  And something we look forward to each December.  How about you?  What traditions do you have in your family?


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