Merry Christmas friend! Each year, Christmas seems to speed up. We’re so busy purchasing, decorating and holiday partying to stop and soak in every little moment. This year for us has been about brainstorming future christmas traditions that we’ll have. Every family has special traditions and I love to hear about them and follow along.
Traditions are extremely important to my family. Growing up there were traditions around every holiday and birthday, but Christmas especially was full of special traditions that I remember. We would have two big Christmases each year, one with each set of grandparents. One on Christmas eve and one on Christmas day. It would include food, lots of food - homemade peanut brittle, pies, Christmas candies and sweets, our Christmas dinner of spaghetti, pears and french bread (not sure where that started). Each person had a lovingly sewed stocking from my great grandmother with each of our names stitched waiting to be filled. The kids would put out the magical reindeer grass in the front yard, because you can’t forget about the ones who take Santa to each house. We would put the milk and cookies on the table and the kids would fight sleep.
At the crack of dawn, the kids would all wake each other up and gather in the living room to play with our new toys from Santa before the adults woke up (all the Santa gifts were left unwrapped). Then we would go back to sleep and wait for our Grandmother to dance through the house yelling “Santa Came!” This was very important, because that set of grandparents didn’t have a fireplace and after what felt like hours of them explaining how Santa is magical and doesn’t need a fireplace to get in to bring presents, we still weren’t convinced.
Both Christmases would include chaos-filled minutes of ripping through wrapping paper and discovering each of the presents we got! They would be met with “Wow’s” and “Look at this!” and “I can’t believe it!”. And then calm would follow as all the adults sipped coffee and eggnog, and dozed off while the kids contently played with each of their new toys. As we got older, the chaos-filled present opening died down and now each person takes turns unwrapping one present so that we can all be apart of the excitement.
Christmas is such a special time with the ones we love, and is filled with so many wonderful traditions and memories. But I’ve also learned throughout the past few years that Christmas isn’t protected from heartache and pain. Some, like my family the past two years, have spent Christmas in the hospital awaiting news about cancer or surgery or just the hope that their family member would survive. So I encourage you this year to soak in as much as you possibly can with your family, with your friends, with your kids, and of course, we can’t forget all the furry children out there! ( ; And to say a prayer for all those who are spending Christmas in places that they wish they weren’t. They need to be reminded of the love and magic of Christmas more than anyone else.
Wishing each of you a very Safe and Merry Christmas
- from Hayley, Caleb, Bella and Piper