“How does/did your family countdown to Christmas? Did/do you have any special family traditions?”
When I was a child we didn’t have as many traditions as some families, but there are things that stand out from that time in my life. First, we always cut down our own Christmas tree. My grandma lived on a farm so we’d search her pastures and woods for the perfect tree. We didn’t go for little trees either. They had to be so big we sometimes had to cut the top off. It had to be a cedar tree too. They smelled so good. When we decorated the tree we made a production out of hanging three little colored birds that my mother found somewhere. The birds were shiny and had googly eyes, but we loved them.
We always attended the local Christmas parade after which Daddy would buy everyone a hot chocolate. It tasted better because we bought it and didn’t make it at home. We mostly ate at home so the hot drink was a big treat to us.
My sister and I always slept on our special Santa pillow cases on Christmas Eve. I still remember how pretty they were. We always got up in the middle of the night to see what Santa brought us. We’d run to get our parents up, and they never complained about it. We just turned on the lights and had Christmas morning in the middle of the night. Man, it was fun!
On Christmas Eve we always had dinner with my dad’s family, and on Christmas Day we ate with my mother’s family. Every child on Christmas Day received a small gift, but with such a large family my grandmother couldn’t spend big money on everyone without going broke. We loved the little things she found because she gave them to us.
Once I was married with my own family lots of traditions remained the same. We didn’t cut our tree down in the woods, though. We always just bought one. I also decorated lots more than my mother did. The kids and I had fun painting Christmas ornaments for our tree. I think we attended more Christmas gatherings. Lots of times the kids were in little Christmas plays at church so we always went to those. Our church was small so at our church get-together after the play the kids got a small gift. My kids didn’t get up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve either. I always wondered why, LOL. I used to read Christmas stories to my kids, and we watched all the animated Christmas TV shows. We also made a production of counting down to Christmas with an Advent calendar. We had one tradition that I miss dreadfully. On Christmas morning my parents and sister came to my house for breakfast, and then we’d all open our gifts together. My mother, father, and sister have been gone a long time now, but every Christmas morning I think of them.
Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition? I’d love to hear which one it is.