What holiday family traditions did you grow up with?
Good post. Unfortunately, my family had a lot of problems when I was a kid so our traditions don't really stand out for me, just the problems that were brought out even more during holidays. Of course we put up a tree and opened presents and that kind of thing, but nothing else really sticks out. Oh, hang on, my sister and I were allowed to open one present each on Christmas Eve, that was nice. We always went to all the Easter church services and being Greek, we always had lamb on Easter (except for the years when the budget was really tight! LOL!).
Dh's family, despite their dysfunction, had some other nice traditions which we have adopted. Like celebrating Christmas throughout the night as of midnight Christmas Eve, into Christmas morning (or as long as anyone can stay up!). At precisely midnight, we play Mahalia Jackson's version of Silent Night. Each person has a plateful of goodies such as cholocolates, nuts, candies, cookies, etc, and a sparkler is lit on each one. When our kids are old enough, we plan on waking them up at midnight with the song and the treats. I hope we can also come up with some other traditions of our own as they still feel like they are somebody else's traditions to me, although dh grew up with them. We've managed to compromise on a couple of things, but dh still doesn't like to put up Christmas decorations until Christmas Eve, especially the tree. I like to have it at least a week in advance. Last year we compromised and I got to put up some stuff around the house. To me, once Christmas is over it's over and it doesn't feel the same, and I really like looking at some decorations during the week or two before.
We never got the typical christmas tree growing up. We always bought a real tree and decorated it and then planted it in the yard once christmas was over. Friends thought we were nuts at first when they came over and saw a palm tree in our living room lit up. I loved that tradition. Each tree in the yard had a story. My favorite was the black olive tree. We got that one so long ago and the tree is huge now. My mom sold the house a few years ago and whenever I go down and visit I have to drive past the house and see all our 'christmas trees' growing in the yard.
I will never get a real christmas tree ever. Its sad to buy a chopped down tree and then throw it out. For now we have an artificial tree since we rent but when I have a house and a yard I will definetly continue that tradition. My birthday is the first week of January and when we got older my brother would collect the neighbors' discarded christmas trees and we would have a bonfire for my birthday.
Another favorite tradition was setting out our stockings a couple weeks before christmas. We would hang them or put them in a certain spot and one day usually within a week of christmas they would disappear. Santa would come and 'steal' our stockings and we wouldn't see them again until Christmas morning. This was always fun because you knew Christmas was just around the corner.
This post cheered me up a bit. I am officialy due today and was just getting emotional and panicky. Now thinking of these traditions I will get to pass on I am excited. :)
Black olive trees are nice to look at...until you step on a thorn.