Holiday Traditions

I can’t believe it’s been a week since the CT shooting, and yet my heart is still heavy.  Hopefully everyone is counting their blessings and holding their loved ones even closer.

candlelight heart

Since Christmas is only 4 days away, I wanted to share a few traditions that we do in our home.

Christmas Letters

Christma letter

Our first family tradition is the writing of a Christmas letter.  They are a big deal around here, as my parents write them, my sister’s family writes them, and we do as well.

I can fondly remember my dad breaking out the Christmas album and reading us the letters he had written over the many years.  His first letter started when he got out of Vietnam in 1970 and he has kept it up ever since.  He said he was inspired by a Colonel friend, who wrote these types of letters, and wanted to do the same.  And I have to say, now that I’m a parent, I can totally appreciate what he was doing.  I may not have liked reading the same one over and over and over, but it was kind of fun to hear about my birth story and dance recitals year after year.

It wasn’t until we got married, that I decided to keep the tradition going.  Josh and I started dating in 2002, but didn’t get married until 2009 (he was totally worth the wait!), so this is actually only our fourth year writing them.  As the years go by though, I’m sure it’s just our immediate families that really care what we did and where we went throughout the year.  Oh the disadvantage joys of having facebook.

I always have fun scanning the calendar and reminiscing over the events of the previous year; it makes us remember what we did and who we saw.  My hope is that Emma will appreciate them when she gets older and has her own kids.  Sadly, I haven’t started on this year’s yet, but I will.  I have to.  So much has gone on in 2012 (like starting this blog), and I don’t want to forget any of it.

Ornaments

first ornament

Our second tradition is collecting ornaments.  I’m betting a lot of people out there do this one, so it’s not that uncommon.

This tradition we started when Josh and I first started dating.  We I thought it would be fun to do something every year as a couple, and came up with getting each other a significant ornament.  It has actually been a lot of fun and makes for an interesting tree, that’s for sure (think squirrels and Garfield).  What’s make it even better, is incorporating Emma into the mix, with birth photos, handprints, and significant milestones that have taken place.

Emma ornament

This would be a fun one to do for a new couple or for a young family, so they can tell stories as the kids get older.  Early on we got smart and started writing the year on them…lord knows I don’t have a memory!

Games

games

Our third and final tradition, after we started dating, was to get each other a board game.  I’m not big into the electronic stuff, and honestly try to keep myself and daughter away from it, so we went with the old-fashioned board type.

The games actually have a fun, back-in-the-day, aspect to them.  My favorites so far are Scene It? and Simpsons Clue.  If you haven’t gotten into Scene It?, you are missing out on some serious fun (maybe because I’m a movie freak)!  Ha!

Those are the main holiday traditions we’ve been doing for the last 10 years, along with eating a traditional turkey meal, and opening one present after midnight mass.  Now I will say, my family’s traditions are a little different than Josh’s.  I never in my wildest dreams thought to eat friend chicken, mac and cheese, and cornbread for Christmas…but to each his own, right?  I guess that’s the joy of having someone else come into your life–shaking things up a bit.

Christmas socks

Whatcha think?  Do you have any fun, crazy, or kooky traditions, or is it just another day for you and your family?

I hope everyone has a blessed holiday, however you celebrate it, and that you remember to tell your loved ones what they mean to you!  Merry Christmas!

Note: Photo from here.

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