What Are Your Holiday Traditions?

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Registered: 07-05-2005
What Are Your Holiday Traditions?
7
Wed, 11-09-2011 - 11:11am

What holiday traditions or rituals have you created for your family?

At our house, Santa's elves bring pajamas for my boys each Christmas Eve.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2009
Fri, 11-11-2011 - 7:49am
This is our little ones first Christmas, so we don't have any traditions yet, but there are some things I'd like to start. My sister buys her kids new jammies for Christmas too and they get to open those on Christmas eve. We are going to do that with our son. All my Christmas morning pics from Childhood, I'm wearing old ratty t-shirts, and I want some cute pics of my baby boy. That's the only thing we are going to do this year. But hopefully the traditions will grow as he does. I love Christmas!!


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Registered: 06-06-2001
Fri, 11-11-2011 - 8:32am

On Christmas Eve, the girls (now 7 and 9, but they've been doing this for several years) sprinkle reindeer food in the yard (dry oatmeal mixed with glitter) and leave cookies and a note for Santa.

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Registered: 11-19-2009
Fri, 11-11-2011 - 10:12am

I forgot about reindeer food!!!



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Registered: 06-06-2001
Fri, 11-11-2011 - 12:15pm

I LOVE that my 9 year old still believes in Santa.

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Registered: 04-23-2010
Fri, 11-11-2011 - 7:41pm
We plan on doing PJs on Christmas Eve, as well as an ornament.
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Registered: 10-24-2007
Sun, 11-13-2011 - 8:50am
Great thread!
We bake a gingerbread house and decorate it, even with the difficulties of food allergies preventing use of dairy, egg, soy, chocolate, food colors, and now cinnamon.

We also cherish a tradition of getting a small piece of frankincense and another of myrrh, to burn while reading the story of the gifts of the Magi, and it smells wonderful. I grew up knowing that frankincense and myrrh were gifts given, but never knew anything about what they were, what they looked or smelled like, or what they were for. It's nice to have those things as part of our Christmas celebration, and it deepens the sense of connection with the ancient tales and traditions.

We also love to read stories about who Saint Nicholas was, and how that eventually turned into the legend of Santa Claus, and look at the related traditions of Grandfather Frost in Russia, and Father Christmas elsewhere.

The best tradition of all though, is one my mother didn't even know she was starting. When I was a kid, she was really struggling, working two jobs and exhausted, penniless because of wage freezes paired with double-digit increases in property taxes. She was desperate, because she couldn't buy her children gifts. So on Christmas Eve, she turned off all the lights and everything electrical, even unplugged the noisy humming refrigerator, lit candles, and poured fragrant cups of Christmas Tea, and by candlelight, taught us to hand-stitch little scrap cloth Doves of Peace, to stuff and hang on the tree. We sang carols around the piano while she played, and it was the most magical and memorable Christmas of my childhood. Only in adulthood did I learn, that all these years, she carried guilt, thinking it had been the worst Christmas, just because we didn't have much for presents. What we had in abundance that year, that made it so wonderful, instead, was Presence.

Last year, I was out shopping with two small tired children, less than 2 weeks away from giving birth, leaning over to have contractions on Christmas Eve, instead of home with my family, because relatives had ignored our plea against material gifts, and we felt obligated to give in kind. This year, it's not happening, and I am giving fair warning to the over-gifters, that they can give to a charity instead, because we are not going to support a Corporate Christmas any longer.

This year, it is going to be Christmas Tea, candlelight, and our family circle, no hubbub, no glitz and crazed consumerism, but the joy of real connection and Doing Things, rather than Getting Things.

 

-Meg

Loving life as an 0ver-35 mom and Postal Wife, homeschooling, urban homesteading, relaxed crunchy/geek hybrid housewife, trying to live consciously in an age of media hypnosis

<a href="http://lilypie.com

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Registered: 11-19-2009
Sun, 11-13-2011 - 10:14am
I love that you don't make Christmas commercial. My family has decided this year that we will not exchange gifts either. Everyone will still buy gifts for the 2 little ones in the family, Trey and his cousin Eli, both celebrating their first Christmas. But for the adults, it will be about being with family. We are all only buying gifts for the little ones because we want to. Not because we feel obligated. Trey is mostly getting things he needs from us, like some clothes and a new toothbrush and tooth paste for his stocking and some educational books. And he is getting some used toys that are age appropriate because he is outgrowing his current toys. We are not spending a lot of money, we just don't have it and it just isn't necessary to spend money to have a wonderful Christmas.

The thing I'm looking forward to the most is putting up our tree. My husband and I each got a new Christmas ornament every year growing up and we get to look back over our childhood Christmas experiences as we unwrap them each year. I'm thinking some music and hot chocolate and the tv OFF for the evening. Maybe a fire in the fireplace. Just our little family of 3 enjoying some special moments. It will be fun!