Keeping the Christmas Traditions Alive

by Lindsay on November 29, 2012 · 9 comments

Keeping the Christmas Traditions Alive

Christmas is coming and my mind is turning already to what I’m going to add to the holiday this year to give it that special touch. I want to continue with some of the traditions I grew up with but now that I have a family and children I want to add some special traditions that are for our family.

Growing up, the first day of December my mom would bring out our Santa chimney advent calendar where it would sit up on the mantel. Each morning we would take turns getting to open the box and there was a treat inside for each of us.

Then the first weekend in December we would go out tree shopping. This was one of the most exciting parts of Christmas for me. It made the whole “Christmas is coming” feel so real! Using a real tree meant it had to dry out for a couple days before we could decorate. To a child that felt like a life time. Our tree was never a color themed tree, it was always decorated with home made decorations. I loved the memories each one would bring as we put them on the tree. We didn’t just have an ordinary tree we had a tree that told a story.

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One of my parents rules was that we weren’t allowed to play any Christmas music or watch any Christmas shows until Dec. 1. Once that date arrived we would listen to anything from Alvin and the Chipmunks to Bing Crosby. We can’t forget the shows… we would watch California Raisins Christmas, Frosty The Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and my all time favorite, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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Now that I have moved out and started my own family I have chosen to carry on a few traditions from when I was growing up. My mom is a talented sewer and she made my kids an advent calendar that holds treats in a sack for every morning.

When is came time to find that unique special stocking for my first born I couldn’t find one for the life of me. Since my mom taught me some of her sewing tips and tricks I decided to make his stocking. Then of course I had to make a matching for my husband and myself. When my daughter came along I made stocking #4.

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Our Christmas tree goes up as soon as my husband will give into my nagging and let me put it up. This is usually mid to the end of November. It is decorated with some of my decorations from my childhood, and as my kids get older we add those yearly. I like to make salt dough ornaments every year for them to paint and hang. I also have purchased a new decoration for them each year that they will get for their tree when they move out.  Our tree also tells a story and reminds me of how much my kids grow and change each year.

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The first Christmas movie I bought for my kids was of course How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My son has picked out some others like Mickey’s Once upon Christmas, Mickey’s Twice upon Christmas, and Tigger & Pooh Super Sleuth Christmas Movie. We haven’t come across any Christmas music that has clung to our family yet, but I do still listen to Bing Crosby sometimes just to have some memory flash backs.

What are your favorite childhood traditions and did you continue them with your own kids?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diane K. Brimmer November 29, 2012 at 6:21 PM

How very sweet! We too have traditions that I like to do because we did them when I was a child. We would always go to the candle factory every year before Christmas. We also would go to a live nativity scene and the Candle Light Service on Christmas Eve. It is so beautiful to hear Silent night acapella by just candle light. When the Pipe organ chimes in with the horns, it makes goose bumps that just seem to travel through your whole body. Then it is truly Christmas!

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2 Rachel K November 30, 2012 at 12:05 AM

We have a similar tree. I like to buy ornaments when we go someplace as a family like a zoo, vacation etc. We have plans to do something fun each weekend before Christmas starting with the tree this weekend, gingerbread house next weekend.

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3 Richard Hicks November 30, 2012 at 1:24 AM

We still trim the tree together after going to pick one out. We have past years personalized ornaments that go the new tree. Just a lot of fun!

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4 Bekah Kuczenski November 30, 2012 at 6:33 AM

I love your stockings. We have also got a special stocking for our daughter. And one of our favorite traditions is going to cut down a Christmas tree :)

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5 Tara P November 30, 2012 at 9:22 AM

My husband & I find it important to still do some of our family traditions with added some of our own. Blending old and new :-)

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6 Toni Marie Caravello Feimer November 30, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Well Black Friday is our day to stay home and put up decorations and the tree, then that weekend we go out and find Christmas decorations on sale at consignment shop or get new lights if any are out.

We listen to Christian music all year long, so we like to start listening to Christmas music right away… that starts the day after thanksgiving as well.

On Christmas Eve we have all the Italian Fish and then open some presents at midnight then the kids go to bed. We wake up Christmas morning and open the rest of the presents and eat a huge Christmas Breakfast. Then we go visiting on Christmas Day and eat a little here and there throughout the day and if we’re still hungry stay at relatives for dinner.

We also do Operation Christmas Child Boxes every year.
We also try to get to toys for tots toys and donate to those boxes as well.

This year I am thinking of adding the following traditions:
Adopting a family through the Battered Womens Services (they helped me when I was in a bad situation and I want to give back).
Going to Hershey Park and seeing their Christmas Show
Also maybe adding a Broadway Musical over the Holidays if we win tickets ;o)

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7 Rust November 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM

We always has hanging stockings as a kid and I’ve continued the tradition….also, I still carry on baking traditions handed down from my grandma, using her recipes for baked-goods gifts.

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8 Alexandra November 30, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I love your tradition with not listening to x-mas songs,carols or watching x-mas films before the 1st of Dec. Each year I struggle to start the festive season only in December – its all about commercialism anyway (people will buy more when there’s a good x-mas atmosphere in the shops – even in the beginning of November – right?). I come from a family with a lot of traditions and I just can’t imagine throwing a x-mas party (or preparing a x-mas dinner) in a different way!

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9 michelle riebeek November 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Bing Crosby is a big christmas tradition in our family too. White Christmas is one of my fav christmas shows!

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