Show Me: Traditions

Becky from Mrs to Mama and Ally from Analyze This are doing a holiday link up, and each week they post a holiday related topic to write about. I missed the boat on the first couple of weeks, but it’s never too late to join in the fun and I love traditions!
Our past traditions consist of reading T’was The Night Before Christmas, and hanging stockings on Christmas Eve {not before!}. We’ve stayed true to that for the past two years! 
Past and present Christmases, I have decorated the house a little before December 1st, but we generally wait until December 1st to put up our tree. This year we put it up November 30th because we were traveling down south for my nephew’s birthday and I wanted it up for when we got back. We don’t do stockings until Christmas Eve. 
I grew up with that tradition, we’d hang out stockings Christmas Eve and Christmas morning we would open them first thing! Christmases were always spent at home. I realize wanting to do that is a bit hard with so many family members, everyone can’t come to us…but I always wanted to at least do our thing in the morning before going anywhere.
Every holiday season, we watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Elf, Home Alone, Frosty The Snowman, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation without fail. I want to add in A Christmas Story, A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, Nester the Christmas Donkey {we used to watch this when I was a kid every year} and Santa Clause. We also watch a bunch of other little Christmas specials. I just love Christmas specials! Matt, not so much. He is kinda a grinch when it comes to those things!

We also always, no matter where we are, leave out cookies and milk for Santa!

For Nolan’s first Christmas, we did open stockings and presents at our house before heading over to my parents’ for Christmas day/dinner, but that was because we lived down south with everyone. Last year {Nolan’s second Christmas} was a little different, a little weird. It was the first Christmas after my mom and dad split up, and there was a lot of issues with my mom and stuff. I felt it was important for us to be with my family that year, so I forgo my desire to spend Christmas morning at home so I could be with my sisters during that awkward, difficult, confusing time. 
We stayed at my MILs, and she wasn’t able to set up her tree because my step-father-in-law’s uncle was living with them and all his furniture took up any space for a tree. So it really didn’t feel like Christmas. We still hung Nolan’s stocking, on the tv stand while the fireplace channel was on. We did stockings, opened presents with Kim & Matt’s family, then went over to my sister’s house around 10am…still in our jammies because my sisters and I have always worn our jammies until basically mid-day on Christmas day. Usually we wore fleece two piece button up jammies, because they were gifted to us every year. But last year we didn’t get them, so we all wore our regular jammies and my dad bought us all housecoats, which we rocked. 
My dad and his girlfriend were there in the morning so we could all open up presents together. It was a good Christmas, just sad because of everything that happened with my mom. We didn’t even see her…or hear from her. The rest of Christmas day, we spent drinking orange juice and champagne and playing board games. Then we had a Portuguese style Christmas dinner and Shannon’s in-laws came over too. 
 one of Granny’s table set ups last year.
Boxing day we celebrated our traditional Christmas dinner at my Granny’s house. It was really awesome! My Granny’s decorating was amazing, and it felt so wonderful and Christmasy! She really has an eye for beautiful Christmas decorations. 
This year, we are implementing some new traditions in.
We took Christmas pictures of the boys, which I hope to do each year. I was going to have their pictures as Christmas cards or at least in Christmas cards, but I sort of missed the boat on that. Next year, I plan on taking Christmas pictures in early November!
On Christmas Eve day, we are going to my SIL’s for Christmas dinner with Matt’s dad’s side. Everyone is going to be there, and I’m pretty excited. We missed celebrating with them last year because Nolan and I were super sick and couldn’t travel. 
When we get home, we are going to have hot chocolate and help the boys hang their stockings. Then we’re going to read How The Grinch Stole Christmas and T’was The Night Before Christmas, leave out milk and cookies, and then it’s bed time!
Christmas morning we are going to enjoy coffee while the kiddos open their stockings and presents from Santa, then we’re going to make pancakes and eat breakfast. After breakfast, we will open the rest of the presents and let Nolan play with his toys for a while. 
We are still going down south this Christmas, so we’re leaving in the early afternoon for that. It’s going to be interesting trying to part Nolan from his new Christmas toys…but down south Christmas at Nana Kim’s will be waiting for us. Boxing day, we are heading over to my Granny’s for dinner and festivities. 
Next year, I want to start more traditions. Things we haven’t and probably won’t get around to this year. Here they are:
1. I want to start doing a count down calendar, and on each day have a special Christmasy activity.
2. I want one of those special Christmas activities to be building a gingerbread house!
3. I want to bake Christmas goodies 🙂
4. I want to buy presents for a family in need.
5. I want to donate food to the food bank.
6. I want to buy the boys matching Christmas jammies, to give them Christmas Eve so they can wear them to bed and on Christmas morning!
7. I want to get crafty with the kids, and make some homemade ornaments and decorations.
So there you have it! Christmas traditions, past, present and future!

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About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
This entry was posted in blog hops, bloggy stuff, Christmas, family, link ups, random, traditions, us. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Show Me: Traditions

  1. tierney says:

    i LOVE the picture of the stockings near the tree on the wooden branch. i want to do exactly that in my own house (when i finally own one, haha)

    also, i love some of your traditions, especially the new christmas pj's! have a merry christmas and safe travels over the holiday!

  2. jess ♥ says:

    @tierney: me too! Matt and I are gonna do this for next year. We're gonna look for the PERFECT branch, paint it and hang it 🙂

  3. leaving out cookies for santa is a definite must. we always leave out carrots for the reindeers too. love it!!
    and the picture you posted of the stockings is amazing. i love what the stockings are hanging on to!!
    xo TJ

  4. wow, your granny is an amazing decorater! how fun!

  5. iamtheanykey says:

    De-lurking again…

    Love this post. Giving me extra Christmas spirit, and wishing I had time to go back and make more crafty things! 😀

    I wanted to do a count down calendar, and I think next year, on December 1st, we will make our own. 😀

    As for easy homemade ornaments, make homemade playdough ornaments! Look online for instructions on how to dry them. 😀 It's super easy, really. 😀

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