Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Traditions


Christina from An Unspoken Story asked that we share some of our Christmas Traditions. I shared some of these last year but thought it would be fun to share again.
One of our favorite traditions is an idea I read about in a magazine when my kids were young. It is to label the gifts with a false name. We have never had Santa bring the kids presents. Neither Bob's family or mine did that so we never started. Our presents go under the tree once they are wrapped and when the kids were young they would inspect them and could often figure out what they were. When they didn't know whose was whose, it wasn't so easy to figure out. The hard thing is often finding names to use. A few examples of names we used are: Snap, Crackle and Pop; Frosty, Grinch and Rudolph; Dasher, Dancer, Prancer. When it is time to open gifts they have to guess who each person is. You wouldn't believe the reasons they would come up with as to why they think a name fits.

One of our food traditions is making a fudge recipe from Bob's Grandma. It's the old fashioned style hard fudge. My family (especially Bob) thinks we "need" this for Christmas. I had to watch his Mom make this to learn it myself and I usually have a flopped batch every year because it's such a picky recipe but it is good!

Another thing we do is have our family Christmas time and opening of gifts on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, we alternate between spending the day with either Bob's family or mine. Before opening gifts we always read the Christmas story from Luke 2. Although it's familiar, it's a good reminder of what Christmas is really about.

Something my kids would tell you is a tradition is the house cleaning on Christmas Eve. I like to have everything picked up and put away before opening presents. They thought I was far too picky and would never be satisfied, but who wants to clean up afterward?
Those are a few of our traditions. What do you do at your house?

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18 comments:

justabeachkat said...

What a fun post to read! Great traditions too. Maybe I'll play along soon and talk about our family traditions too.

Merry Christmas
Hugs!
Kat

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

I love Christmas and it's the traditions that make it so much fun. We also play with the tags on the gifts. I make up a secret code, using letters like: DG for darling girl. But I might try your phony name trick. My kids are really smart and it is getting harder and harder to keep them from breaking my codes.

We always go to Grandma's Christmas Eve and come home late. We wake up in our own beds and celebrate Christmas morning by reading Luke 2. Then we open gifts and have a wonderful breakfast.

We usually have family over for Christmas dinner, but this year we will be traveling to my Brother-in-law's house. They have snow!

Growin' with it! said...

we've never done santa either. and the name idea is awesome. will have to try it this year!

A Stone Gatherer said...

Wonderful traditions Mari! We do the reading of Luke too as well! Otherwise cutting down our christmas tree and decorating it, and our annual Christmas eve picture that Mom makes everyone suffer through. The advent wreath is another thing we do.

BethAnne said...

I like the idea of putting fake names on the gifts...when my kids get older I may try that.........and when you get the fudge made....I will be glad to taste test it for ya!

Cheri said...

We do the fake names and we all love it. Arianna came up with the names this year they are: Sid, Manny and Scrat from the movie Ice Age.

Kristie said...

We hope to start a few traditions this year. We'd like Macie and our future kids to be able to look forward to certain things every year.

photomama said...

I love the different names idea, I may have to do that as the kids get older.

Rebekah said...

The "name" idea sounds like more fun than actually opening the gifts.

Pennies In My Pocket said...

Oh fabulous traditions! We read the Christmas story from the bible before we open gifts, too. :) We also put each person from the nativity scene in the manger when he/she is mentioned in the story. :) Every year we alternate who gets to put in Baby Jesus.

~melody~

Kayren, Pink Daisy Girl said...

Mari,
We've never had the gifts be from Santa at our house either, but we've never had to do the name thing. That was very creative though...made me laugh!

We also always read the Christmas story at my grandparents' house before opening our gifts there on Christmas afternoon (after eating and cleaning up). We now do that with our kids on Christmas morning. It is familiar, but still a nice reminder about what the holiday is really about.

Enjoyed reading your traditions and seeing some familiar ones.

~Kayren

The Birds Nest said...

Cool traditions!! We have always done my family Christmas on Christmas Eve too. Mom usually gives me my stocking on Christmas morning, though. We eat homemade soups and tons of yummy appetizers and desserts...I can't wait!!

The Birds Nest said...

Cool traditions!! We have always done my family Christmas on Christmas Eve too. Mom usually gives me my stocking on Christmas morning, though. We eat homemade soups and tons of yummy appetizers and desserts...I can't wait!!

Femin Susan said...

hi
your Christmas seem to be very joyful.
It is very differed form the way you
celibate Christmas.I usually goes to my cousins house.there its very good.
my two cousins would be waiting there.
then we would play some games and rarely watch tv.by this time the food will be prepared.then well all will eat then again off to play.that's all.
thanks for visiting my blogs....

Deb said...

We all have our dinner, and read the Christmas story, from Luke. ..Open gifts and enjoy spending time together:)

jenniferw said...

I think it's wonderful you never told your kids about Santa. We never did either. All gifts come from God! And that is the truth, and the truth sets us free. Lies -- no matter how innocent they may seem -- enslave us.

My Papaw, long in Heaven now, used to make that old-fashioned fudge. There were no chocolate chips or marshmallow creme involved in his recipe! I can still remember how it tasted, and its texture, and how it melted on the tongue ... but I've never learned how to make it.

We read Luke 2 also, and we listen to a beautiful recording of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah, before we open presents on Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas, Mari!

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

What a fun post! My Mother always makes "hard" fudge, the old fashioned kind and we always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, I thought our family was the only strange one out there :). I love your names on the gifts, it makes me laugh!

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