Holiday Traditions

Christmas Cookie Baking Day – We try to do this every year, but we have missed some years due to illness, childbirth, living in Dallas for 2 years.

Christmas Cookie Baking Day 2010

Thank you notes – When the kids were little, we wanted them to write thank you notes when they received gifts.  Instead of fighting with them about it, this is what we did.  On Christmas Day, you could play or use your gifts all day long.  BUT.  The day after Christmas, all gifts were off limits until after thank you notes were written.  A nice stocking stuffer is a box of thank you notes.  This works for birthdays, too.  We never have to remind our kids to write their thank you notes.  Well, almost never.

Orange juice & white soda – Many years ago, we decided that it would be nice for the kids to have a sparkly drink on Christmas morning so we started pouring clear soda (7-Up or Sprite) into a pitcher with orange juice (1/2 and 1/2).  A tradition was born.  Goofy.  Yes.  And the only time we use this pitcher.  It is the Christmas orange juice and white soda pitcher.  Goofy.  Yes.

Holiday Pitcher.  Goofy.  Yes.

Christmas Ornaments – We have acquired a LOT of Christmas ornaments over the years.  Many were made by our children.  They have also acquired many ornaments, too.  Each kid has their own Christmas ornament box.  They get to choose which ornaments to place on the tree each year, and they get to put them away at the end of the season, too.  This eliminated a lot of fighting over which ornaments they got to hang on the tree.  And we saved the college kid’s box for her to hang up her ornaments when she got home.  And when they grow up and move out, the ornaments go with them, and they have some for their homes, too.

A Homemade Ornament.

Christmas Day – When the kids were little, we decided that it was important for us that they get to stay home and just hang out all day.  They can stay in their pajamas if they like.  There is no rushing to be or go somewhere.  And we have an open door policy.  In the afternoon, any and all are welcome to come by.  We make a buffet style meal, so mom can enjoy the holiday, too.  It’s just a casual, calm day for everyone.  Well, except for we are expecting about 22 people Christmas afternoon.  So, it will be noisy.  And fun.  But not really calm.

As Seen On TV Gift Exchange 2009

Santa Hats – We have a collection of Santa hats and anyone who visits us over the holidays is required to get a picture with the Santa hats on.  Or we don’t let them eat.  Or leave.

Quick Family – Christmas 2009

Christmas Cards / Pictures – We love doing a Christmas card with a picture of the kids each year.  We also love reading Christmas letters that we receive from family and friends.  We don’t understand why people don’t like these.

Christmas 2000 Picture

Christmas Morning Breakfast – Christmas morning breakfast has to include cinnamon rolls.  And Breakfast Casserole.  And orange juice and white soda.  These are the rules.  I mean tradition.

Open one present at at time – the kids like to open one present at a time.  With a big family, this means it can take awhile.  We used to have to be careful and not tear the paper so it could be reused, but we got over that one.

Holiday Traditions – These are important to children and to families.  Most are unexpected because they aren’t fancy or expensive, but are simple and memorable.  And we realize that as our children move out and start their own families, that these traditions may move on to them.  Which will mean we will travel to visit them in their homes.  And that will be fine.

What are your holiday traditions?

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