Thursday, December 16, 2010

25 Days of Christmas: Day 16 - Christmas traditions

One of the things I love most about this time of year is the deep traditions families have to celebrate the season. I have been lucky enough to grow up in a family that loves this time of year and loves to celebrate together. Some of our traditions are funny, some sentimental, but I thought it would be great to have a compilation of some of my favorite traditions and memories.

1. Setting up my parents Christmas tree.
 I have talked about this at length (here and here), but it really is the start of the Christmas season for my family.

2. Getting my mom to cry on Christmas morning 
It's pretty easy to do, but its our goal every year!

3. The earrings 
This is an inside joke between my sister and I, but about 10 years ago she received a pair of earrings that were pretty horrible. We all joked about how ugly they were and how "lucky" she was to receive them. Being the brat that she is, she wrapped them up and gave them to me on Christmas morning. Every year since, we re-gift them to each other and try to do it in a sneaky way so we don't know it's the earrings. I've wrapped them up in boxes of rocks so she thought she was getting something expensive, she's wrapped them in a giant box so I thought I was getting something cool. It just keeps going year after year!

4. Opening our stockings in my parents bed.
I will say sadly we don't do this anymore since Arla and I are both married now but only 5 short years ago, we were still doing this tradition. Every Christmas Eve Santa (aka Mom) would fill our stockings that were hanging on our bed posts while we were sleeping. On Christmas morning we would climb into my parents bed to open our stocking gifts before going downstairs to open the rest of our presents. And of course before we could go downstairs to open our gifts my dad would have to have a pot of coffee made and have his video camera set-up before we could start. He always stalled on purpose to keep the anticipation building for that much longer!

5. Singing the 12 days of Christmas
Almost every year at our extended family Christmas we sing "The 12 days of Christmas". It has brought quite a few laughs over the years and luckily we have almost all of them on tape!

6. Opening our presents one person at a time
When we were little my sister and I would go at the same time but in recent years, we all take turns to each open all of our gifts one at a time. It's really nice to be able to see everyone's reaction to what they get and to actually see what they received. We always go in the same order too. The dogs always go first so they can stay occupied with whatever new toy or rawhide they get and my Dad is always last. Every year he says the same thing, "What, I didn't get any presents, I told you not to get me anything"!

These are just some of my favorite traditions and memories throughout the years. Hopefully by next Christmas we'll have our first little one and we will get to continue and make new Christmas traditions.

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