Day One: Christmas Traditions
Christmas traditions would long start before the 25th of December.
It has been a family tradition to listen to Wayne Rodstad's, Christmas In The Valley, cassette tape. In fact, Ryan and I listened to it last year while putting up the Christmas tree in my house.
It is "illegal" in our house to turn on the Christmas lights before the first Sunday of advent. We would usually put them up in November and then my brother and I would fight over who would turn them on for the first time! We would all then walk down the road to see the lights at a distance, with lots of "Ohh's and Aw's".
Christmas Eve as kids was very special. You would get in your best clothes for Christmas Eve church service. It has to be one of the fondest memories I have at Christmas. The candles glowing at the end of service and Rolly on the acoustic guitar playing/singing Silent Night. Heavenly.
After the service we would head back home where mom would prepare the nicest snack foods for us to nibble on. We would head to the basement, where the Christmas tree was, and get to open one present before bed. Before bed, Dad would read us "Twas' A Night Before Christmas" from the same worn out book of past years.
Christmas morning was MADDENING! My brother and I would have our stockings ready to be opened on Mom and Dad's bed and they would be downstairs getting coffee. I remember one year waiting an hour with my stocking full of wrapped gifts, waiting for them!! It drove both Jared (brother) and I crazy!! ha ha! Once my parents FINALLY got upstairs we would open stocking gifts one at a time, starting with the youngest, Me!
Once stockings were opened we would all head downstairs. Dad had to be the first one to go down the stairs and he would tease us about how many presents were down there. Finally, Jared and I could run down to see all the loot! It was so exciting! We would then open one gift at a time again, saving a big gift for the very end!
We have this really cute way of doing name tags that we have continue on into adulthood. The idea is to give a little hint at what the gift was without giving it away. For example:
Socks: To: Lindsay
With Love: Frosty The Snowman
Cook Book: To: Mom
With Love: Betty
Christmas dinners would happen on boxing day with the expended families.
Now, traditions are totally up in the air! I still love Christmas but they are certainly not as magical as when I was a kid. I am looking forward to the day when I have my own traditions with my own family. Ryan and I are kind of at an in between stage where we don't know what to do. I guess more traditions are to come!