Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Making Traditions

As I've mentioned (excessively), I'm a season freak. This is never truer than Thanksgiving through Christmas. I love everything about the Holiday season, and I try to take full advantage of the festivities  every year. Of course, a big part of being a holiday nut is establishing and maintaining traditions. Growing up, every year on Christmas Eve we'd go to my Aunt Terry's house for a big party with my dad's side of the family, and then we'd come home, set out cookies for Santa and open one present each (I think - I may have been the only one doing any opening). The next morning, the living room was always transformed into a magical wonderland of gifts by my mom, who stayed up into the wee hours of the night, taking care to wrap the "Santa" gifts in different paper than the "mom and dad" gifts, and to disguise her writing into scroll-y Santa writing. She'd always leave a note hand-written by Santa, and of course the cookies would be replaced by a trail of crumbs. After we finished opening our gifts to and from each other and from Santa, we'd travel about 45 minutes to my grandparents' house and spend the rest of the holiday with my mom's side of the family. That's the way it was for as long as I can remember, and even after my parents separated, my mom would usually come over on Christmas morning and open presents with us, and we'd still all travel together to my grandparents', at least until I was into my teens.

This year will be mine and Jeff's 7th Christmas together (holy moses!). Over the years, we've established our own holiday traditions. Ever since our first Christmas together, we've spent Christmas Eve with his family (who has a party, similar to my father's family), and Christmas Day with my family. Since my mom lives about five hours north of Delaware, we spend our Christmas morning in the car, which echoes my previous tradition of traveling (though not as far) on Christmas. I don't think it would feel like Christmas without a lengthy car ride and my trusty "Jeffsi's Christmas Extravaganza!" playlist (shut. it.) We've also developed some other traditions - every year while putting up our tree, we watch "Bad Santa" (which we've discussed that we'll probably have to switch to "Elf" or something when we have kids - ha!) and we also open one gift each on Christmas Eve - we get to choose which gift the other opens. Last year was our first year in our house, and we picked up hosting duties for Thanksgiving. The evening before Thanksgiving I was buried deep in casserole making and veggie chopping, and Jeff picked up hoagies from a local shop. We're hosting again this year, and I plan on the same Thanksgiving-eve hoagie run. And we ALWAYS stop at Wawa for Coffee and breakfast on Christmas morning, which may sound depressing, but it's one of the things I look forward to every year. One of the things that excites me the most about having kids is making new holiday traditions as a family. What are some of your holiday traditions? Does anyone do anything out of the ordinary?

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