December 25, 2012

Christmas Traditions!

I love Christmas and all the amazing traditions that come along with it!!

It seems like every year we add another tradition! Sometimes it makes Christmastime stressful, but mostly it makes it a joyous and memorable family event.

These are some (I say some because I'm not sure I'll remember all of them) of our traditions:

1. Well, the first order of business for any Christmas season is a CHRISTMAS tree!! If you didn't know, this Christmas season, we moved. (To see that post, go here). Since we had such a BIG move smack in the middle of what is already the busiest season of the year, we went ahead and put up my grandpa's old, fake tree. That goes against ALL of my traditions. I've had a REAL tree almost every single year I've been celebrating Christmas (which, surprisingly, is NOT every year since I was born - but I'll tell you that story another time)! But, I have to admit: It's nice. It's nice to not have to go pick it out, not have to water it, and nice that it doesn't poke me!! It's also nice to not have needles to clean up. Anyway, I'm sure next year, we'll go back to our tradition of a real tree, but this year we needed easy... and this fake tree business is EASY! Love that.

2. Christmas with the Coles. Each year, the Christmas celebrations start the weekend before Christmas in Krum, Texas, (near Denton) with a lunch and gifts for the great-grandkids at my Dad's parent's house. I love seeing my cousins and aunts and uncles. We eat, relax, joke, catch up, and this year, we even made coke tab bracelets and necklaces!

We usually drive up on Friday evening; depending on if the big kids are with us or not, we try to leave around 3 or 4 and have dinner with my cousins. This year, we didn't arrive until 11pm. :-|

3.  Christmas Eve. We go to my husband's parents home for dinner and presents! That's always a lot of fun because we're all SO different from each other. Very entertaining! HAHA. I always enjoy Clark's siblings and getting to spend time with them.

4. Christmas Eve church service. We went to the 4 o'clock service the last two years. We traditionally go to the 11 o'clock service, which I LOVE! After this year's 4 o'clock service, we decided we'll be going back to the 11. It just doesn't seem Christmas-y enough to do it while it's still light outside. I know, I know. It's not about the feelings, it's about celebrating Christ's birth. But, I truly didn't feel the Christmas spirit at the early, daylight service.... so there! :-P Maybe it's because we light candles at the end of the service and it seems pointless when it's so light outside. Ha!

5. Christmas Eve presents. Each year, the kids get to open ONE present on Christmas Eve. This year, since Harrison saw some of his "Santa" gifts in my closet (I know, I totally was not on my Santa game this year AT ALL!!!), I ended up giving him one of those. It worked out perfectly!

6. Santa presents and stockings. Oh MAN! This is my favorite thing! I love, love, love playing Santa and stuffing stockings! It is so much fun for me. Of course, I assume this is a tradition for everyone??

7. Breakfast. I love to have a special breakfast for my family the next day! Last year I made this by Pillsbury. Ahhhhhh. DELICIOUS! This year, we did this. Crockpot French Toast. It's pretty good, too, and EASY! Who doesn't love easy when overly stressed with all the things there are to do for CHRISTMAS!

8. Christmas morning. We open all our presents, eat breakfast, and watch A Christmas Story! We LOVE that movie. It's fabulous. It stays on ALL day!

9. Lunch. We like to go to Clark's brother and sister-in-law's house for Christmas lunch. There, we get to hang out with my SIL's mother, Sherron, and sometimes her grandparents. They're all a HOOT! Of course, I  also get to love on my sweet niece that I simply adore! She is growing into such a sweet, loving, silly young lady! It's been really fun to watch.

10. Dinner. This is my most favorite tradition of ALL! We go to my mom's for a traditional dinner. Now, when I say traditional, I mean TRADITIONAL. There is no diverting from our traditional dinner. It is Turkey/Ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, candied yams, rolls, green bean casserole, and for dessert: Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. Oh yes! Be jealous!! Here's a recipe for it so you can try it, too. Then we try to decompress for a little while and then we all open presents. Even THAT is a tradition. We go from youngest to oldest, opening a gift at a time. It's so fun! We get to enjoy each person's reaction.

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
11. This year, our new tradition is to have a dinner at our house the day after Christmas. Of course, this will probably only be an "even year" tradition since the boys are with their dad on Christmas day in even years. This dinner will be both of our local families coming together to celebrate with my boys and give them their gifts. I hate that they don't get to enjoy all of our family stops with us, so, we decided to bring them to us!

What are your favorite traditions? Maybe we'll implement them at our house next year.

Merry Christmas friends!

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