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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family traditions

My children and nieces and nephews singing Christmas carols before they can open their presents.

Christmas Jammies

Wind up toy races

A Christmas Craft

I feel it is important for children to have family traditions for the holidays. In many cultures/countries they have very specific traditions. I do envy some of my friends who have remained firm to their culture and have very profound rich beliefs. I think living in America its hard to keep hold of your heritage. In fact, for me its always been confusing. When you think of all the customs that regretfully have been lost in the mix of making me.  I am half Chinese, yet I have never celebrated Chinese New year or became a Buddist. My other half is very Catholic yet I have only been to midnight mass once in my life. It is also German, French, Dutch, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, English, and Native american. I think celebrating Christmas covers many of this side. Although I am just learning some very specific German traditions in the last 7 years being married to a half Austrian.

Because I have felt lost and wanting to find my way into a tradition. My family has tried over the years to make some Christmas traditions of our own. Some have stuck and we do them every year. Some have came and gone. The ones that have stuck are putting up the tree while listening to Christmas music and decorating it all together as a family. The rule is we all have to be home to put it all together.

 On Christmas Eve, we all do a craft together and have a nice dinner. In fact, my house is full with Homemade Christmas decorations and ornaments. I hardly have any decorations that the kids, extended family, or I haven't made.

 Another tradition is the kids each take turns going out with their dad to pick out Christmas presents for each other, then to dinner. They look forward to this each year to be able to spend that special one on one time with their dad.

 Another activity we have tried to do every year is look for the giving trees. On them you can find a less fortunate child's wish for Christmas. The kids can pick a child they want to buy for. We spend hours looking for the perfect gift that the child had listed. I think this is a way to wake up children to be conscious of their surroundings. I hope I have been able to convey a sense of compassion to my children so they can see that there are  families in need.  Maybe through this they can see the true meaning of Christmas.

 We also bake and bring Christmas cookies to our neighbors and friends. Getting new Christmas jammies and slippers each year is another one the kids wait for. and Watching Christmas movies together. Can't forget leaving Santa, cookies and milk and the reindeer some carrots.

The new one last year was to get the Christmas crackers and each take turns opening them, reading the joke and wearing the crowns. I think this will be added to our list of traditions.(takes care of English side
We also like to take evening drives and see all the light displays that people have decorated their house with.

Gingerbread houses, wind up toy races, iceskating, going to grandmas house and playing in the snow, reading story of Nativity or the night before Christmas, evening walks, caroling, holiday bazaars, getting cozy in our jammies and playing board games and drinking hot cocoa Christmas eve night.  These aren't every year, although, they have been an important part over the years while celebrating the holidays.

Every year we get together with my siblings and their kids and the grandparents.
The kids (whom by the photo on very top, aren't all quite so little anymore) have to sing Christmas songs before they get their presents. This all started years ago when my Siblings and I started having children. Santa always visits for Santa pictures, then we exchange gifts. When our family was smaller we all bought gifts for each other. Then when kids began to be born it was just for them. As the family grew it was then just drawing numbers between kids. Now it has become a white elephant exchange. I am blessed because our family has grown.

I hope you all get out there and start some Christmas traditions of your own, of course if you haven't already.

I would love to hear about any Christmas traditions that you as a family do every year.
Please comment below if you have one you would like to share.

Happy Traditions!!


Anonymous said...

We watch the Nativity Story on Christmas Eve

Anonymous said...

Yes the family has grown and evolved. I think we have done quite well with change. We are blessed with a very loving family which truly reflects on a wonderful mom who stressed FAMILY as the true importance in life. Enjoyed this. KLaRue

eastsideartschool said...

I agree on having a wonderful mom. I am glad she has always put family as the most important. This is a tradition that I have kept also with my own kids. I hope they in turn, will make it important to their own kids someday.