Christmas Morning Traditions
Have you seen Fiddler on the Roof? I'm sure you have. One of my favorite songs is when the amazingly wonderful Jewish Papa of the family sings Tradition! I love seeing him explain why they do what they do in order to abide by and keep the family traditions. After all, traditions are so apart of family life, aren't they? What would we do without them? They bring us safety and security, they create happy memories for a lifetime and in a way they define who we are and what the holidays mean to us.
This post is to share some of our favorite Christmas traditions. Ones that you may do in your own home, would like to implement or start at some point, or just might find fun to read. I always like hearing what other families do on their holiday to make it more meaningful to them. I think traditions that moms and dads set and repeat year after year can be so special and hopefully loved by the kids so much so that they want to pass on the Tradition! to their family.
Our family makes it a point to attend Christmas Eve at our home church. Usually this is not easy. There is so much to do and prep for the next day with company coming. John still has to work in NYC that day. I am running here and there wrapping gifts, going grocery shopping, sprucing up the house, all the while watching our little kids. But when John comes home I find it very important for all of us to put our energy and focus on preparing our hearts for the real reason for the season. This is our third Christmas Eve at Jacobs Well in North Brunswick. I love that Pastor Reid allows the whole family to sit and be a part of the service. The kids get to worship with us, they get a bag of snacks and a craft book to keep them busy during the sermon, and they aren't expected to be silent, because we all know kids are noisy! Of course we all do our best to keep quiet during the quick sermon. It's so nice to just sit as a family and be together with all the other families! I love it.
Christmas Eve we let the kids open one gift! Usually its new pajamas, or a new coat, or maybe some fun slippers, sometimes it was even a family movie we could watch. It's just something special we like to do before going to bed and it will keep the kids super excited all day knowing they get to open a prize, as we call them, a day early!
The big surprise
We don't put gifts under the tree until the morning of Christmas. The kids don't know where we hide all of the gifts. We just keep our secret stash to ourselves. And no, santa does not bring them gifts. Daddy and Mom have worked way too hard plotting and planning and saving to buy them their prizes, why give all the glory to SANTA!? Plus, John fully believes in telling the truth to our children. (They even know the tooth fairy isn't real) Before you get mad at us...just so you know, my children are forbidden to tell any other child that santa isn't real. We would never dream of spoiling the fun for another family. It's our little secret.
Every Christmas morning we wear Christmas pajamas until noon! Okay, this may not be a big deal to you, but for me (type A personality here) it is a huge sacrifice! But it is rather comfy cozy!
My family comes over early christmas morning to open presents, and eat with us. We've been doing this since John and I got married 12 years ago. My mom and dad always make it light hearted and fun for us. And it's really nice seeing my two sisters and spending the morning with them. We eat waffles, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit, french toast...whatever breakfast foods are carbalicious and tasty...we eat! Then we all relax and watch the kids open gifts and we play with our new gadgets, play a board game or two, and just share how God has blessed us the past year.
After my family leaves, we get dressed and head to our second Christmas celebration with John's side of the family. One of the beauties of living close by everyone is being able to share the day and see all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and this year the COUSINS! Julia, Mark, Micah, and Amelia have twin cousins finally...Ava and Nik! We are so blessed this year. Three new babies were born in 2014! My in-laws now have 6 grandchildren and that's pretty good since they only have 2 kids!
The McInerney's have a feast awaiting us...turkey, ham, pasta, wine, and all the fixings, and grandma sue always bakes the best desserts...crumb cake, cheese cake, and plenty of christmas cookies from Aunt Laurie. We love playing LCR and other family favorite games.
Our tradition after bedtime
By the time we head home, tuck everyone in, and put all the gifts away, we are exhausted. John and I crack open a bottle of wine, sit by the fire and just relax. This year we will have a new fire place to be in front of, just another blessing that God has given us. I still can't believe we have survived four kids and a move this year. I'm feeling very much at peace and content. Life is crazy busy, but I'm sharing it with an awesome team mate. God has been so faithful. He has kept us happy, and healthy, and surrounded us with some really great people to share life with.
So, that was Christmas Team Mac style...what are your traditions? why are they important? How has God been faithful to you this year?