Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Family & Holiday Traditions

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Christmas is a time when I feel like I am walking on a cloud filled with holiday snow. I love everything about it (well, okay, I could do without the holiday shopping crowds) - the carols, the snow, the treats. Most of all, I revel in the anticipation of spending time with family. Not just a quick weekend visit, but heavy-duty holiday bonding time. Since we don't live in the same state (or country, for that matter) as our families, these extended visits are our opportunity to make up for lost time, to soak in the laughter and find peace in being in each other's company.

When I was a kid, part of the excitement of Christmas lay in the anticipation of the "big day". Each year, my mum bought me an advent calendar and the first thing I would do every morning, from December first through Christmas Eve, was to open the little numbered cardboard door hidden amongst the glitter-filled Christmas scene. Behind that door lay a picture, usually an old-fashioned drawing of a Christmas trinket or activity. Toy soldiers, snowmen, white bunnies, carolers, ice-skaters...each was enchanting in its own way.


To this day, even with my fortieth birthday right around the corner, my mum still sends me an advent calendar each year, along with calendars for my husband and two boys. Each morning, we crowd around our calendars and take turns opening those little doors and exclaiming over the treasure underneath. It is a touchstone moment, one in which we can rejoice in the excitement of the season and, most of all, the promise of spending time with loved ones.

Holidays and traditions mean different things to different people. Please leave a comment and tell me what your favorite holiday traditions is.

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5 comments:

carolinaheartstrings said...

Our favorite Holiday tradition is renting a house at the beach and melding our two families together for one awesome time. We do it every year. Here in North Carolina we have some amazing places at the coast. We eat, drink, fly kites, search for shells and beach glass, play a ton of board games and start watching all the traditional christmas movies.

Chez Us said...

I love that your mom still sends you an advent calendar. Reading about all of these traditions that everyone has, has left me a bit teary. Feeling the need to jump start my family into some new holiday traditions! Thanks for the kick-start!

Happy holidays to you!

Naddez said...

My family and I gathered at my parents home with my siblings and their families, on Christmas Day, to exchange & open gifts, fellowship and sing carols together.

suburban prep said...

I am the oldest of 7 siblings. One of our favorite things to do growing up was to bake a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies to leave for Santa after Midnight mass. We did this even after many of us were married. Now that many of my siblings have children they have carried on the tradition with their kids.
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Nance said...

Color us non-traditionalists: After opening gifts (only for the young children, now), we head for the movies and follow up with a semi-desperate drive all over town to find the only Chinese restaurant that's open.

One year, we did make turkey hotdogs.