Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Traditions

When I was a child, there weren't many traditions around the holidays, but my dad and I always went to midnight mass and then came home to have some eggnog and holiday bread.  Since we opened our presents that evening, we never got up early on Christmas.  Hubby's family had lots of traditions and fond memories so it was only natural when we had our girls that I wanted to start lots of traditions for them.  I think the most important memory that also ushered in some traditions, was the birth of our daughter Kim on Christmas morning.  From that point on, we always hosted a Christmas Open House, with a sit down dinner, because we were staying home on Christmas. Like many others, the girls and I always made cookies to share with others-they always loved giving to neighbors. We always celebrated Kim's birthday the first weekend in December, we didn't want her feeling like she was cheated out of a party. When we lived in Silicon Valley, we always drove up to the Santa Cruz mountains to cut our own tree and the girls loved the family that owned the tree farm.  On Christmas Eve, we would pile in the car and drive around looking at Christmas lights, with Christmas carols playing in the background.  There was an entire cul-de-sac, in Santa Clara Ca,. that was decorated to the max-I mean even in the days when there was an energy shortage, people still had incredible outdoor decorations; of course there were coffee cans where you could donate if you wanted to.  Oh how our girls love this!  When we got back home, there was always a Christmas movie that we watched before bed and then off they went. When they went to their bedrooms, there was always a new pair of p.j's waiting for them.  At that point, hubby and I would haul out all the presents from the hiding place in the garage and begin a marathon wrapping session, for nothing  was allowed under the tree before Christmas morning.  It was so incredible to wake up to all the presents under the tree; however there were many Christmas eves when hubby and I would stay up til two or three in the morning wrapping.  Needless to say, often this mom did not want to get up at six o'clock and my girls do remember my being somewhat grumpy(which I was, due to sleep deprivation).  After presents, we would have pancakes and then begin the clean up before everyone showed up to celebrate with us-a full sit down dinner for around 115-20 people.  Those were the days when I really stressed over that large of a group; hey now it is just a few more than our family-how times change. I will say that everyone brought a dish to share which helped out alot but I was not skilled in the art of entertaining and cooking, so it was always a day that I was stressed.
When we moved to Santa Rosa, Ca. we continued these traditions but had to find a new tree farm-we were successful and loved our new place. The girls continued to get new p.j.'s  and for a few years, I also got the grands new ones but then the numbers grew so I let that one go.  My girls continue our traditions and they also rotate whose home dinner will be at; so it is easy for hubby and I just to get in the car and go.  Traditions usher in fond memories and enrich a families life.  We were and are so blessed by our daughters & their families and celebrating the birth of our Savior; I have much to be thankful for.
Blessings on your day.  Noreen


  1. Morning Noreen,
    What a lovely post full of fond memories.........a joy to read!
    May you and your family have the lovliest and Blessed of Christmas's
    ever Sweetie,

    Merry Christmas!
    Love and Blessings, Nellie

    and thanks for coming by yesterday and your sweet wishes for our family as well.

  2. I love reading what others did and do at Christmas time. Sounds like we had some similar traditions. Soo fun. Hope you have a good day...HUGS

  3. Thanks for your well wishes for Mia.
    We're starting a new tradition this more ham & mashed potatoes for Xmas dinner...bring on the CornBeef and cabbage...!!

    Merry Christmas.....Enjoy

  4. That was so wonderful of you to celebrate your daughter's birthday on the first week-end in Dec. My just always said with the one piece of clothing I got for Christmas ~~ happy birthday merry Christmas!! That was it!!!
    Merry Christmas Noreen. Happy New Year to you and your family!!!

  5. I think I tried to have new traditions all the time my kids were growing up. Tradition overload. Now I can let things go. Like this year we did not get the kids together to make a Gingerbread house...Shaylee (4) asked last night at our Christmas get together...NOW are we going to make a G. House. Made me want to rush out and buy one!!! Silly Grandma!

  6. It is fun to look back at all the things we did with our kids and to see what they are carrying on with their own kids. I still do pajamas for the grandkids on Christmas Eve but I may have to let go of that before long....or may not-the little girls especially love it.
    Merry Christmas to you and all your family.

  7. It was so nice to read about your traditions (many the same as ours) and see your family photo next to your text! How nice that your daughters have kept the same traditions.....and really nice that you can visit them, and relax more! Yay!

    I have to tell you, when I met my hubby, he said his family had always wrapped everything the night before, and I figured 'ok'...I'll go along with it. Well, that lasted our 1st Christmas together, cuz we didn't go to bed until 4, and the 3 boys were up and opening stockings at 5! I said, never again! lol After that, we wrapped and hid them throughout the month. :o)

    Hoping you and your family have a very merry Christmas!

  8. Hi there Noreen,
    I loved reading about your traditions...Traditions are what make families. :) Thank you for sharing yours with us.
    Also wanted to pop by and wish you all a wonderful, happy Christmas - filled with love and, of course, tradition. :)
    sending lotsaluv

  9. I always love to hear of the traditions of other families. Noreen I hope your weekend is filled with joy and wonderment! Merry Christmas!

  10. Merry Merry Christmas to you! One of my favortie tradtions with my MOM is after she returns from her Christmas Eve services she puts in "A Muppets Christmas Carol." It's her favorite, mine too. She makes popcorn for us and we cuddle on the couch watching and eating and slipping off to sleep.

  11. It has been so nice getting to know you this year. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    I hope you have a wonderful and a Merry Christmas.


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