Parenting

Making memories at Christmas time 

Growing up Christmas was always a huge deal in my household. My mom had several storage bins full of decorations and each room of the house had a different theme (snowmen, Santa, angels, you name it), we had two trees (one for her and one for us), we watched Christmas movies and listened to Christmas music, it was the best. There are so many happy memories I have from the holidays as a child, I knew that when I had a family of my own I would want to carry on many of those special traditions we had. Without further ado I give you those special Christmas traditions:

  • Each year we would drive out to the local tree farm to find the perfect trees. My sister and I would pick ours, my mom hers. Afterwards we’d go home, put on Christmas music and decorate the trees. Ours had the colorful, more childish ornaments and my mom’s was always a big, beautiful tree full of gold, silver and crystal, sitting in the living room window for all driving by to see. I always loved having our own special tree to do what we pleased with!
  • From the time we were all very young, my great grandma would send each of us a new special ornament every Christmas. When she passed away my grandma took over the ornament giving and by the time each of us graduated from high school we had enough to start us out with our own trees. It was always so exciting to see what the new ornament would be, I hope Sam and any future kids will feel the same!
  • My family has always opened presents on Christmas Eve as part of our Scandinavian heritage. Everything about the night was so exciting, as children we would all anxiously look forward to it as soon as we woke up! There would be finger foods for dinner like mini quiches, sandwiches, mom’s famous artichoke dip, her homemade fudge and Martinelli’s sparkling cider that I still love to this day. After eating we’d all sit around the tree together and prepare to open gifts. Before that could happen though one person would be in charge of reading “The Night Before Christmas” to kick off the gift opening. While the book was being read one of the men (or a neighbor) would sneak away, dress up in the family Santa suit and come through the door with his sack, just to deliver the first gifts of the night. We couldn’t believe that Santa would make the time to stop and deliver gifts to us. One year he even brought us a puppy! After opening our present from Santa he would leave and we would then get to opening the rest of the gifts around the tree. Christmas morning was for opening stockings and any other gifts Santa may have delivered (usually movies, CDs, small toys, etc), and then prime rib for dinner. Growing up I loved opening presents on Christmas Eve so that will be a tradition we continue with our family!

There you have it, some of my favorite traditions from childhood that I plan on continuing with my own family. What are some holiday traditions that you enjoy? Tell me about them in the comments!

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