Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas! Today is actually Christmas Day! I hope you are able to celebrate with your families, and create many happy memories!  For me, this is a time to be with family and friends, and celebrate Jesus’ birth. Because I know He has done so much for me in my life, and businesses, I celebrate His birth and am thankful that God sent His son to Earth for mankind to be saved.  I cherish the traditions my family has during Christmas, and I hope you have some you cherish, too.

Christmas

We’re ready for Christmas!

My family traditions have changed over the years, as is apt to happen, but we’ve had to adapt and grow them to accommodate our lives. The ones I cherished from childhood I have tried to somehow incorporate into my son’s childhood. And once I got married, we had to combine our traditions into new family traditions. I pray that as my son grows older, he will cherish and love these traditions we’ve created, but also adapt them once he is married with a family of his own.

One tradition I’ve been able to keep is baking and decorating sugar cookies for Santa.  Daniel has had fun doing this with me the last couple of years, and I enjoy the time with him. Of course, eating the sprinkles is his favorite part right now 😉

Last year's Christmas cookie batch

Last year's Christmas cookie batch

Christmas cookies

I love this picture of Daniel helping bake cookie from 2013!

Christmas cookies

Our Christmas cookies ready for Santa!

One tradition we’ve had to combine is our Christmas Day itinerary.  I grew up opening stockings on my parents’ bed (they had a fireplace in their bedroom – how convenient 😉 ), then eating breakfast while we waited for my grandparents to come over, then we all unwrapped presents together. Our Santa presents were wrapped in separate Santa paper, so we knew it was from him! Then, my grandparents came back later for Christmas dinner.  Chandler grew up with Santa’s stockings and gifts on display, and they opened presents early with his immediate family.  His mom had finger foods (and yes, there was a menu!) that they nibbled on throughout the morning, and his family (grandparents, aunts, cousins, even neighbors) would come over to see what Santa brought, eat, and socialize.  Now for our family, we display Santa’s stockings and gifts (which is genius – no extra wrapping!) and let Daniel play with those while we make breakfast.  We still eat breakfast then open presents, then head over to Chandler’s parent’s to do Christmas with his immediate family (and eat more – his mom still does those finger-foods – YUM!).  Then, it’s back home for a while to play/clean up/prep food, and later that afternoon we head to Chandler’s grandmother’s house for Christmas dinner/gift exchange with his extended family (aunt and cousins).

Christmas morning

Daniel with Santa gifts 2013

Christmas 2014

Christmas morning 2014

Nutcracker and silver bell

Daniel’s nutcracker and my silver bell together on the tree 🙂

One tradition I’ve adapted to Daniel that I love is a special Christmas ornament that will be given every year.  Growing up, my sister and I were given a silver bell every year on Christmas.  We know the box and wrapping paper – you couldn’t miss it!  At first, when we were younger, it was a mindset of “OK, here’s my bell.  Let’s open them together….next!” But we were kids, and that’s just the mindset kids have. As my sister and I grew older, we searched for those boxes in anticipation.  We HAD to open them together, and it was a “YAY, my silver bell!” mindset. I LOVED having our silver bells on our 12 foot tree every year. Dad’s joke was that my sister and I couldn’t get married until we could decorate our own 12 foot tree with silver bells 😉  So what did we get on our birthdays the first year after we were married?  Our silver bells 😀  Once we started having kids, Mom had to adapt the ornaments, and move the tradition from us to our kids.  I received my last silver bell the year Daniel was born.  We had to come up with a different ornament for him – so he has gotten a pewter nutcracker every year (we thought he would appreciate that more than a bell).

 

Whatever your traditions are, cherish them now, and don’t be sad if you have to adapt them as get older or your family grows. That’s just life.  Cherish the new traditions you create, then. What are some of your favorite traditions? I would love to hear about them!

I wish you a very blessed and merry Christmas, and a safe and happy New Year!

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