Thursday, December 21, 2006

10 Family Christmas Traditions I Love

1. Decorating the tree together
As a kid, part of this was really going to get the tree as well since we'd go to the tree farm and pick one out and then dad would cut it down. We now have a fake tree since we lived in the condo (and weren't allowed to have a real one), but we all have our "jobs" to do that we've had since we were kids. Dad does the lights and now George does too. Mum and I do garlands and the kids do the decorations. Well, at least the bottom part of the tree!

2. Christmas Baking
This was a huge deal when I was younger since we'd get together with Auntie Randi and do tons of baking!! I'm not sure how much help we actually were and we probably ate more than we helped, but this was such a wonderful part of Christmas! As I got older, we continued to do this and made cookie trays for family and friends. One year we ended up with about 50 cookie trays!!

This year, we have done tons of gingerbread! Kyle loves doing it and loves giving it away about as much! We just made some again tonight and I think its about our 6th batch! We found a great recipe and it's not only fairly easy, but delicious! And we've been busy decorating with sprinkles and little M&Ms.

3. Outings to look at Christmas lights and the Christmas train
George and I love going out and looking at the lights. I remember we went out one night the first Christmas we met and walked along the quay in New West. It was cold, but very memorable. Since then, we've made it an annual thing and Kyle loves the lights now too!

We also try and get to the Stanley Park Christmas train, but haven't made it out there this year yet and may not. With the park being closed for a few days there after the last storm and the weather not cooperating, as well as the usual holiday busyness, we just haven't made it yet, but would like to!

4. Chinese food dinner either out or take-out.
We've done this since I was a kid and love the stress-free aspect of this and just getting together and enjoying the evening. It's sure changed since we were kids too when our family would be about the only people in the restaurant. Now you've got to make reservations to go out and wait forever if you want delivery!

5. Opening one present on Christmas Eve
OK, now I know that the present was always the same, pjs, but I loved being able to open one thing. And when we got older it was a good laugh too! Now, the boys will be getting one present from Santa on Christmas Eve this year!

6. A new tradition for us of getting one ornament a year for the boys.
When I left home, I didn't have any ornaments to take with me and I had heard of other families doing this and thought it was a fun idea, so we started for Kyle's first Christmas. We're trying to get something symbolic of what he's been into that year. This year's was what he calls his "Rock and Roll Snowman" which is a snowman with a guitar since he's been very into music and particularly guitars this year.

7. Opening stockings first on Christmas morning.
We have always been able to do stockings first and it's so much fun to putter through them and fun to see what everyone else gets.

8. Homemade stockings made by mum!!
I'm not even sure she would think of this as a tradition necessarily, but it is to me! I love the stocking that I've had since I was a kid with my name on it in felt done by mum. She actually makes the stockings now!! I had one sent to me when I was in Japan with a care package for the Christmas I didn't come home and I was so excited to get it! Mum had to make two more stockings this year for Nathan and Sophia!

9. Our family dinner
We have done a potluck type dinner for as long as I can remember and it makes it nice to be able to share the workload! We usually end up with quite the gang and it's wonderful to have dinner all together. This will be Nathan's first and I can't wait!

10. A second Boxing Day family dinner
Since George and I met, I've been lucky enough to be able to go to two Christmas dinners. Since George has only brothers and they are all married and have kids (though one is in Australia!), his family does their dinner on Boxing Day so that we can all still get together without having to worry about who's going where what year!!

So feel free to add a comment about what some of your favourite Christmas traditions are!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Colleen - just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog! Love all the traditions!

Merry Christmas.... Cheryl (from TTT)