Saturday, October 6, 2007

Silver Bells...

4. What are your favorite holidays and how do you spend them?

I love Christmas. The season has lost none of the magic of childhood for me. I love decorating for Christmas every year, I love the smell of our Christmas tree and the process of decorating it and waking up to its tiny white lights in the early dark of December mornings. I love Christmas music, and my Christmas CD collection that I won't break out until the day after Thanksgiving. (Except Veggie Tales became Green Bean's favorite during the Christmas season last year, and he was too young to understand the concept of putting music away after a season is done, and kept requesting it all year long. Several time I tried to quietly put it away, but he didn't have to see it to think of it, so it has stayed out all year. At least I like it.)

But my absolute favorite thing about Christmas is that it's the time of year my four brothers and two sisters migrate back to our home state and we're all together again. It's crowded and noisy and chaotic, and it's part of why I want more than two kids myself. How would you have a big noisy Christmas with just two? Sadly, we can't all make it every year... now that my siblings have jobs instead of college breaks, it's harder and harder for all of us to be able to get together. (We WILL all be together in a few weeks for my older brother's wedding. It's in New York, and we'll all be together in the same hotel for a couple of nights. All but my older brother, of course. My older brother's wedding is not to be confused with My Hero's older brother's wedding that's happening in less than two weeks in Illinois. That's a separate event. Weddings seem to happen in groups.) My Hero's job, manager of a retail store, makes it impossible for us to ever be with his family on Christmas Day, since they're in Illinois and we live near my parents. We make a trip out a week after Christmas when the mad rush of buying has slowed down and his coworkers can survive without him.

Christmas traditions:

  • As we decorate our Christmas tree, we indulge in the tiny frozen cream puffs you buy in the frozen section. We were snacking on them as we decorated one of the first years we were married, and decided that would be a yummy family tradition to start. We never buy them except when we buy our Christmas tree (the day after Thanksgiving, or at least that weekend...I like to suck the marrow out of the Christmas season, and the tree is one of my favorite parts, but I don't at all like to begin Christmas before Thanksgiving has been celebrated)
  • We put white candles in all our windows.
  • We put the presents under the tree as we buy/wrap them. It's how my parents did it, and I always got excited seeing them begin to pile up.
    Christmas Eve my dad's side of the family has a big Christmas Eve party with my grandparents and all their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In place of gifts, we've recently begun collecting money from all of us to either help out someone in the family who needs it or to support World Vision or sponsor children in Haiti. It relieves Christmas shopping obligations for all of us.
  • Christmas morning we do stockings. My Hero and I do stockings for each other, and we both fill stockings for the boys. Christmas gets more exciting for us every year as our little guys get old enough to start enjoying it. We all wake up together and open our stockings. Then we have breakfast.
  • After breakfast has been cleared, we open gifts.
  • After a morning of enjoying our gifts, we get together with my parents and siblings and their spouses and my mom's parents and have lunch. Then my dad reads the Christmas story from Luke 2 for us all, and after that begins a big noisy chaotic opening of gifts in a huge way. It's a jumble of trying to watch people open gifts and trying to juggle your own, and last year I spent the whole time holding Peanut Butter, because he didn't like anyone else to hold him but me. For. a. year. That's a subject for another post.
  • Then things quiet down, people start to leave, and my siblings and we sit down together to play new games and try out other new gifts. Christmas supper is leftovers from Christmas lunch for people who still have room to eat more.

I love other holidays, but none of them compares to Christmas.

It's a magical day because it's family. And I love my family.


tonia said...

Well, you're certainly getting me in the mood for the holidays! Hard to believe they are just around the corner!

Julie Pippert said...

So many fun traditions and special wonder you love it best!

We also have snacks, appetizers and finger desserts that we eat while doing our tree trimming!

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