Monday, December 10, 2012

Tradition

Okay, a musical about Jewish family, even when performed by Legos, really has nothing to do with the post, but it popped into my head when I typed in the title.  I went to YouTube to play it while I wrote and I found this and fell in LOVE.  Even if you don't share my love of Broadway, you might still appreciate the work that went into it.

So, as we are making our way toward the holiday, I am counting down the days of school left, just like the kids.  I am so excited to get to the holidays.  I am looking forward to it in so many ways!

As we enter into the season, I am hoping to make some traditions that my people will pass on to their people, as I have passed on some that were passed on to me from my family.

We started the Elf on the Shelf this year.  The kids LOVE him!  It makes for very motivated children getting up so early in the morning! I will probably buy 4 of them so that I can give them each one as they leave my nest.  It will tie them back to their childhood and make them smile.  

We do Christmas socks filled with little gifts and candy on Christmas morning.  I am certain that will get passed on.  They get to go through their socks while waiting for present time.  It makes it easier while waiting for Daddy to come home when he is on shift for Christmas Eve like this year.  I make a big breakfast and presents come after that.  Sometimes my Dad joins us, sometimes my Mom.  But, my french toast casserole only comes out twice a year and this is one of those times.  This year I am going to try using Challah bread. Mmmmm, I am so excited!  I also hope that if my kids aren't at my house for Christmas morning, they continue this with their family.

Grandpa Pat and my Baby Bear
We leave cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, and in turn Santa leaves "snow" footprints.  I go to midnight mass, hopefully soon I won't have to go alone because J will be home and I can steal the older ones.  Or, J will be home and we can all go...once the girlies are old enough to go.  It will come.

There are never presents under the tree before Christmas morning.  No shaking and squishing to guess.  But the impact when you see all those presents on Christmas morning is worth it.

The kids are getting older. There has always been that AWE that comes with the sheer amount of gifts - big and small.  But as they get older, we are noticing that there are less presents.  So, I proposed a new tradition.  Once the muppets reach middle school and join the ranks of Santa's helpers, their gifts change as well.  I believe someone mentioned it was a Victorian tradition.  There are six gifts, something you want, something you wear, something you read, something you made, something you share and something to surprise you.  I think it is a cool idea.  And a practical way to pull the reins in on crazy spending.  I mentioned it to J and he pretty much "yes dear"ed me.  We'll chat again.  

My other hope is to add a tradition of giving.  Not the anonymous dropping off toys to the Toys for Tots.  As noble as it is, to actually put human faces to people in need of a pick me up makes it so much more real - actually giving where the kids see what the joy of giving looks like.  I'm looking for ideas for Christmas Eve, especially since FF is working. I really want them to take an experience and a humility with them into their lives.

So let me ask, what traditions do you have for Christmas?
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