Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Traditions

We have spent every Christmas here since 1999--it will seem funny to not be home for Christmas. (In 1999 we were in Reno because my FIL had passed away) We have certain traditions that we have enjoyed through the years.

I love shopping for everyone for Christmas, but I really ENJOY making gifts. One year I made what I thought was the perfect gift for Allan. It was his very own Monopoly game. All of the properties were streets we'd lived on, schools he'd gone to, etc. Even all the community chest and chance cards were personalized about events in his life. It was so fun to design.

Since I was a little girl we have gotten pajamas on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus used to make a special delivery -- he still does today ; ) My kids act SO SURPRISED when the doorbell rings--gotta love it. And, of course, we take a picture of everyone in their new (and Allan and my old) pajamas. (I know Allan is hoping that I forget them when I pack--sorry, honey, they're already put in a special place so I won't forget ; ) This picture is cropped like it is because, well, it showed a little too much of Allan, which is why he'd like me to forget the pajamas ; )

We always do a serious and a not so serious picture.

Christmas caroling with good friends, followed by a special meal. (This year, we won't be here to go ; (
Christmas Eve is homemade soup and rolls. This particular year we had gone caroling and had everyone over for our Christmas Eve soup and rolls.

It was not a regular tradition, but I think twice we went to cut down a tree.

The kids always get an ornament--some times 2. I don't know what will be left on my tree when they have trees of their own. (This is a tradition we started after the bigger kids were gone--sorry guys ; )

We always read Luke 2--we have never acted it out. (That would have been so fun--go look at sweet peas video clip she posted on her blog. So cute ; )

We used to go to the Lights of the Wild--which was held at our local zoo. It was a favorite when family would visit, and it was so cold and everything up our noses would freeze. Now we go to the--BORING!!!

We also go and ride the little Candy Cane Train--it is so fun. (Right, Neal and Macy ; )

For the past 4 years, our Stake has done a Nativity Pageant at the Forks. The year Kyle and I participated holds such a special place in my heart.

Of course, I so miss the trips to visit Santa. I'll have to do a post about some with pictures.

Christmas morning is homemade waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and bacon. All cooked by Dad. YUM!!!!

The kids open one present on Christmas Eve and everything else in the morning.

We love doing the 12 Days of Christmas--so many fun memories of years past. (So many times almost getting caught. I remember the year Stephen almost got hit with a baseball bat by one of my sisters)

How about you, what are your favorite Christmas traditions???


PJ said...

Fun traditions:) I LOVE the Monopoly game!

We write little notes to each other through out the month on pretty Christmas paper and put them in a special box. Then read them on Christmas Eve.

Tori :) said...

I loved reading about your traditions.
We act out the Christmas Story every year.

Heffalump said...

We have a tradition (we don't do it every year, more like every other) of doing a family Talent show on Christmas Eve. This year all the talents are supposed to be inspired by Christmas songs.
I also make breakfast for my parents each Christmas Day (even though we spend Christmas Day with my FIL). I get up early and go to their house and make omelettes for them.

Chelli said...

That Monopoly game is AWESOME!! I'm completely impressed.

Christmas Eve is when we have our big meal (Christmas is vacation day and we eat cold cuts and left overs). We sing songs around the piano and read traditional stories like "The Night Before Christmas" and not so traditional stories like "The Grinch." We have luminaries throughout the neighborhood and we like to walk in the stillness of the night looking at the beautiful lit bags.

Thanks for making me think of these things. I'm anxious now for Christmas to arrive.

Neal said...

I totally forgot about that Monopoly game - that was awesome. I can't believe that you've been in Winnipeg on Christmas for the last 9's time to get out of there!!!

By the way - we're going to act out the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve at Tom & Kim's. It's going to be awesome!!

aurora said...

Reading this got me a little more excited for Christmas!
We recently started the PJ tradition on Christmas Eve. Love it.

Corrine said...

so fun. we get new pjs on christmmas eve, i remember getting so excited to open a package and then we'd get to pick which to open that night and each time we grabbed the one we wanted to open my mom would say 'no not that one' anyway we fell for it every year, it took me a while to catch on. but i loved the pjs she made them for us but now i old navy mine...maybe one year i will sew some. i should go get some fun hawaiian prints huh?? ok thinking aloud.

fun traditions.

Whitney said...

You have such fun traditions!!! I am so impressed that you made your own Monopoly game!
We do the pajamas and cutting down the tree, too! I love those traditions!

Nancy Face said...

I just glanced at the first picture and thought it was a quilt...I'm foolish, haha! :D

Now I'll go back and read! :)

Nancy Face said...

A custom personalized Monopoly game? Wow, that is lots better than a quilt! ;)

Nancy Face said...

I want to see the ENTIRE pajama picture, tee hee! ;)

I love that you do crazy pictures with your family! :D

I love all your traditions...they sound wonderful! :)

After having our Christmas Eve celebration with Kris' family, we go home, sit by the Christmas tree, read Luke 2, then sing Christmas carols. We also like to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! We've never acted out the Nativity, because we didn't have enough people in our family! :)

I've offered to send Ty and Lauren's ornaments on with them to their own homes, and neither of them want to take them! They love to come over and see their ornaments still on the family tree! (That really did surprise me!) :)

Tonya said...

Sounds like a wonderful traditon. I love getting new jammys for Christmas myself.

The monopoly game was a great idea. You are such a great mom and wife.

Tiffany said...

What fun traditions! I love the pajamas and Monopoly game!

glittersmama said...

Those nightshirts are awesome. Along with Christmas Eve PJs, we would get our own box of our favorite cold cereal. It was usually some kind of super sugary goodness.

Melissa said...

You have some great traditions! We do the Christmas P.J.'s too. It's a fun thing as the kids are getting older. When Red was really little he cried when he opened his P.J.'s :)
We are starting a new tradition this year. I put a garland around our front door. Then I printed up a bunch of 3x5 pictures from this last year. Things we did as a family, pictures of the kids that I liked. Tonight we are going to hang them on the garland and talk about all of our memories from this last year. It should be a lot of fun I hope :)

♥ Somebody Loved ♥ said...

That is an awesome Monopoly game... you should have named it Allan-opoly. That is the cutest idea I have heard. Leave it to you clever lady.

Also love the shirts that remind me of a peppermint stick or candy cane.

It is funny how reading the posts of others triggers memories of my growing up years. Family & Christmas traditions are the best.


Jodi said...

I love your traditions! Especially that your hubby cooks breakfast! What a guy!!!

I am impressed you are all done! I am not even close! SO what in the heck am I doing on the computer?? Good question!

Klin said...

I am amazed at the Monopoly Game. That is just awesome.

We do the PJ's thing. We started it when we had our first Christmas with a baby.

The favorite of our children is the Candle Light dinner that we hold on Christmas Eve to celebrate Jesus birthday. We talk about the night of his birth and have a nativity scene on the table while we have ham, potatoes of some kind, green beans, rolls and dessert. Always. Makes it easy.

I love doing it and the kids tell everyone about it.

Amber said...

Those pictures are great and I love the idea of doing a fun and more serious picture!

Our family has loads of traditions. My favorite is Christmas Eve when we pig out on everyone's favorite appetizers (usually about 15 of them), play the left-right game, do a competitive gift exchange, play the bells and read a Christmas story of some kind!

sweetpea said...

Oh, I love love love this post! Christmas traditions are the best, and you have some wonderful ones. I am still laughing at that cropped pajama picture!! :) You're a great mom and grandma--your family is very lucky!

sweetpea said...

Oh, and that Monopoly game? Brilliant!!

JustRandi said...

WOw on the Monopoly game!! What a LOT of time and work you put into that. Those are the best presents, aren't they?

And hey, you look fantastic in a beard. Just in case it ever comes up.

chellie said...

Wow, we have a lot of the same traditions.. one present every Christmas Eve and new jammies every Christmas Eve. We also do homemade soup in bread bowls... and a traditional Christmas Day breakfast.

Allan is a good sport to be wearing those jammies. And oh my, he looks so excited about it!

txmommy said...

what wonderful traditions! I love that you go caroling on Chritmas Eve. Our elders just asked us to go with them this Saturday and we are looking forward to that.

And your monopoly game idea is awesome. I bet he loved it!

Suzanne said...

We do the Christmas Eve pajamas too and also take pictures of the old ones first. So we can see how much the kids have grown over the year.

We do clam chowder on Christmas Eve. We also get a real tree. I love getting to pass down traditions from our own families.

The Monopoly game you made looks so cute and fun! :)

Ashley said...

We really do not have many traditions yet. My kids are terrified of Santa. Growing up my Dad would hold a globe and a star. He would read the story of Christ's birth from the New Testiment. Then he would turn the globe and show us how the people in the Americas could see the star, then he read the story in the Book of Mormon. Every year we would buy him a new star and my Mom puts up a little tree with all his star ornaments.

Theresa said...

I might have to steal your monopoly idea - that is just totally amazing!!! Also - your nativity outfit is exactly the same one I wore this year - although my beard was red. ;)