I woke up this morning thinking about Christmas traditions. It's hard to keep traditions alive when so many things change year to year and new places bring new traditions. But over the years a few have endured and I thought I would share them with you tonight!
1. Opening one present on Christmas Eve...ok, not quite...the tradition part is actually me asking my mom if we could open one gift before bed on Christmas Eve. She has always said no...but every year I ask.
2. Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. I don't remember when this started, but I was apparently very young. I never wanted to turn the Christmas lights off at night. We always had lights strung up all around the room and multiple strands on the tree (colored lights around the boughs and clear lights illuminating the trunk). Somewhere along the line I convinced my mom to let me leave the lights on all night on Christmas Eve.
3. Making the coffee on Christmas morning. As a child, Christmas was the only day of the year I was a morning person. I would wake between 2 and 4 am, sneak out to look at the tree and then race to my parents room. There was no waking my dad gently in the middle of the night, so I always started with my mom. Tapping her arm, shaking her shoulder, opening her eyelids and asking if anyone was inside...one year she finally told me that they would get up once there was coffee made...so I made coffee, brought a cup for mom and a cup for dad. And a tradition was born. It's been my job to make the coffee on Christmas morning ever since.
4. Hiding presents inside the Christmas tree. I'm spoiled to come from a family that likes to gift jewelry. Needless to say there have always been small boxes exchanged on Christmas morning. Instead of putting the smallest boxes on the floor with the other presents, we nestled them on tree branches close to the trunk wondering if the giftee would find all the little boxes.
5. Turkey dinner. When we lived abroad, my mom literally cooked for an army...a bunch of the soldiers that worked with my dad came over and ate, ate, ate. For the last ten years, it's generally just been just my mom and I and a 20 pound turkey...I finally convinced her to cook a smaller bird a few years ago. This year I convinced her to break tradition all together. We had pork roast and a root vegetable dish that might not be a new tradition!
It's hard to remember sometime that traditions are fluid, not set in stone. All that matters is that you enjoy them and the ones you hold dear.
What are some of your holiday traditions?