Thursday, December 03, 2009

Traditionally the Holidays

We have lots of Christmas traditions in my family. It's comforting to have traditions. I enjoy passing them on to my girls and telling them stories of doing the same when I was a child. And, they seem to really enjoy hearing stories of mommy as a girl. Some of the traditions we share:
  • If we have nice weather we will head to the Santa Cruz Mountains & cut down our tree. Growing up my family would do that regardless of weather. Yeah, that one can go out the door in the cold & rain as far as I'm concerned.
  • We decorate the tree together with Christmas music. Many of the ornaments are from my husband and I's childhoods, so there will be discussion about them as they come out of the boxes; who they came from, when, why, etc... Much fuss is made over the final item; the star. Daddy lifts each girl for a turn to place it on top. At my mom's house, it's a running joke about her redoing the ornament placement on her tree after we all leave.
  • The girls get annual advent calendars. We still get the kind that have a piece of chocolate to mark one day closer to Santa's arrival.
  • There's an annual visit to Santa at the mall for a picture.
  • Cookie making with my mom, sister-in-law (SIL) and now my girls & niece.
  • We have an annual trek to take the girls to see the Nutcracker. This will be LittleSpeak's first time, so that should be interesting.
  • Christmas Eve used to be at my Grandma's house when growing up. There was always traditional food (ham or prime rib or something) and trays of enchiladas as well as homemade tortillas, (my favorite part). After dinner there was always a cut throat game of poker. (Grandma was a card shark.) When my Grandma passed (21 years ago on this Dec 20) we started spending Christmas Eve with close family friends. They're Italian, so it was Seafood Chioppino for dinner. Yum!
  • The girls & their cousins always get matching Christmas pjs from my folks on Thanksgiving. These are to be worn on Christmas Eve & Morning.
  • We attend Christmas in the Park in Down Town San Jose. We usually try to go ice skating on Down Town Ice while there.
  • We drive through Fantasy of Lights in Los Gatos.
  • Last year we took a night to go check out the best Christmas Lights nearby us. THAT was fun!
This post was going to be about how I started a new tradition last year; Elf on a Shelf. But instead it's just about some of the little things we try to do that make the season special to US. I'll introduce you to our Elf in the next post. What kind of traditions does your family do?