Have your holiday traditions changed?

Have your holiday traditions changed?

Postby Maelyn » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:22 pm

Or maybe I should ask "how have your holiday traditions changed" now that your kids are older?

In some ways ours haven't really changed all that much. We still go to my parents for Christmas Eve and my parents still give all the kids pj's for their CE gift. "Santa" still comes with the "big family gift" although the kids are all "in the know". We still decorate the tree on or around 12/15 and the kids still get their ornament every year. Hannukah is still the same with first and second night being big and by 8th night even DH doesn't really care.

I guess the bigger difference now is that the boys are all so busy performing around the holidays that we don't do as much in the evenings anymore. And we haven't done our "hot chocolate drive" - hot chocolate in the car driving neighborhoods looking at light displays - in several years.

So how have your traditions changed? Or have they?
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Re: Have your holiday traditions changed?

Postby Esther » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:01 pm

yes and no... We haven't lived around any family in over 11 years, so it's always been just "us" on the holidays. Then, add in becoming a nurse 5 years ago, and working half the holidays, yes, definitely changed. So far I have lucked out and not had to work Christmas Eve, and our church Ensemble has always played at Mass at 6 p.m.... and for years now that has included myself and the 3 boys (plus other mostly young musicians and some adults). A few years back I tried making Stephanie's caramel rolls for Christmas morning, and now they are definitely part of the holiday tradition and even requested for Easter as well.

I've had to work Christmas day 3-11 shift before, and am working it this year too at my new job, but that will still allow us gift unwrapping time in the morning.

I know this year Matt has already warned me not to expect him to be around the full Thanksgiving week and Christmas break, due to WVU Pep Band games. And if they make a bowl bid again this year, that could very well impact his holiday plans.

We no longer put out cookies n milk for Santa or carrots for the reindeer, etc. Most of the presents unwrapped will be small and I'm sure electronic!! But Santa still brings the majority of the gifts.

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Re: Have your holiday traditions changed?

Postby Tina » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:27 am

Esther wrote:We no longer put out cookies n milk for Santa or carrots for the reindeer, etc.

I miss this so much!!! What I don't miss is being woken up at 4am by excited kids wanting to open their presents. The last two years the kids have been allowed to open one gift Christmas Eve before heading over to my BIL's. When we get home they can open the rest, but stockings have to wait until morning. We always went to Mom's for Christmas dinner, but I've finally convinced her to come to my house this year. She has most of my sibling's families over Christmas Eve and does all of the cooking. It's just too much for her to then cook dinner for my family the next day.

We will still decorate our three trees, although Sean and I will probably end up decorating Brett's tree because he won't get home from school until late on the 19th. I'm hoping to get this accomplished sooner than in years past.

Thanksgiving is never the same. Sometimes we have company, sometimes we spend it with extended family. This year it will be just us (Mom is going to my youngest brother's for dinner). I actually prefer it that way so I can take my time with dinner and not have to rush around.
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Re: Have your holiday traditions changed?

Postby funnygirl » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:36 pm

This year I will be spending the majority of Christmas Eve at church - two services of doing the projection, one service in the Nursery. If the kids are with me for sleeping, I still put out cookies and milk and carrots. I know Anthony plays it up for me. Hard to let go they are growing up!

Thanksgiving - I so wanted to be able to join my aunt's day after celebration, but just can't make it work. Next year, I will be there - no two ways about it. I miss my extended family - it was a tradition on my mom's side for as long as I can remember. Like probably 35 years at least. I have missed the last 6 years. :(
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Re: Have your holiday traditions changed?

Postby Esmeralda » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:19 am

I try to keep things the same even as the kids age. And, I do miss being woken up at the crack of dawn by excited kids! One of my best Christmas memories is Emma flying into my bedroom to tell me that Santa left a webkinz in my stocking!

We still go to my parent's house either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. My siblings are all there, too. And I still bring the same food to the holidays! People would flip out if I didn't show up with Christmas crack!

The one thing that has changed is now the kids only get 3 things for Christmas and then the gifts in their stockings. It has really cut down on my stress level.
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Re: Have your holiday traditions changed?

Postby Tammy » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:50 am

Our traditions haven't changed much, but boy, everything else has!

The discussions we have while carrying on the traditions are probably what has changed the most... We put up our Christmas tree the evening of Thanksgiving each year, play music (holiday and other types), read and discuss our books (that we all three often share now), and start planning the new year ahead of us. Each year I buy Alec a new ornament (that he will take with him someday) and add one to our collection to commemorate that year -- both collections have grown substantially, with so many memories to add to the mix.

We still bake cookies together (including a special batch of dog cookies for the pups), and I still give Alec a small box filled with IOU's each year (like coupons) that he can exchange throughout the year for special privileges -- staying up a little late one night, ordering pizza on another, etc. I almost stopped doing it a few years back, thinking he was too old for it, but he insisted that I continue. He even did the same thing for me one year, which tickled me.

We also choose a special gift project for a person or family in need each year. That too has evolved, since Alec is now able to do so much more than just pick out gifts to donate.

Our gifts for each other have also changed so much. I miss the days of assembling all the toys the next day (although I'm guessing dh might not!). The boxes have gotten much smaller, but the contents seem to be just as (if not more) expensive. I now have to pry a Christmas list out of Alec. Instead of wasting money on things just to buy gifts, we now often do about a half dozen individual gifts for one another and then a bigger family gift that everyone can enjoy.

I too miss setting milk and cookies out for Santa (and leaving carrots outside for the reindeer), but Alec still loves the spirit of Christmas, and like me, he still believes that Santa lives in all of us.

Back when he did the milk and cookie thing, I'd really go all out to make it believeable... I would even run around the house straightening up on Christmas Eve, the way I would when expecting other company. I would even nag just a little and pretend to stress over the fact that I hoped Santa would remember to lock the front door before he left (there was no chimney at our condo). :grin: I miss that.
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