Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Traditions

My mom did a great job of creating Christmas traditions for us when we were kids.  I remember driving around looking at Christmas lights every Christmas eve. We also got new pjs every Christmas eve.   We got new ornaments every year and she always let us have our own tree to decorate. There were tiny stocking ornaments on the tree that she always put lifesavers or gum in. Even now, I smile, thinking back on these traditions.

Now that I'm grown, there are a few decorations that I enjoy every year. Actually, there are lots of things I enjoy really - lots of my ornaments and decorations are handmade gifts of love. They just make me smile when I get them out.   

Here is my absolute favorite decoration. It's our tree skirt. Mike's mom made the skirt. Then my mom painted it.  This is just one of the pictures on it. Every year I get it out, I just hold it. Admire the talent. and let the tears fill my eyes with all the love I feel. 

One of the easiest things I do (and it's cheap!), yet has a big 'wow' factor - is wrapping the girls bedroom doors up as presents.  I was super happy when they gasped with joy when they saw their doors again this year.
Another tradition I started is our 'countdown to Michigan' stockings.  We are never here on Christmas Day, so I just do it for the 24 days before we leave...and that means the stocking opening started today!! At our last house, I hung them on a clothesline on our stairway. At our new place, I have them on suction cup hooks in the window.  They have pieces to the nativity set in each stocking (I bought an unbreakable set for this purpose).  Each day we tell part of the Christmas story.  I also have small prizes and candy on some days, as we don't have 24 pieces to our nativity set.  Last year I added another element to the stocking.  It's a slip of paper with a family activity on it.  It's my reminder to slow down and enjoy the season with them.  Includes things like, watch a Christmas movie, do something kind for someone, play a game wearing Santa hats, bake cookies, do a Christmas craft, go see Santa, etc. 

Lastly, Morgan made me hot cocoa last weekend... as you can see, we go all out and have 1st class hot cocoa in our house... marshmallows, whipped topping and sprinkles! Life is just too short to drink just plain hot cocoa!!

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