I’m linking up with Wives of Faith again for today’s blog topic:
Christmas is one of those holidays that within the celebration of the birth of Jesus, we add some family traditions. What are some of your favorite family traditions?
This year will be a different kind of Christmas than any I have experienced in the past. This is N’s and my first Christmas as a married couple. Already we have been discussing different traditions that our families had growing up.
Stockings were a big deal in his family. They “opened” them on Christmas Eve. This is something that he really looked forward to a lot; he remembers that their stockings started to get things tucked into them early in the season. In our house, stockings weren’t as much of a big deal: we did them, but Mom often filled them after we went to bed on Christmas Eve (3 of the 4 of us kids are girls; and we alllll know that stockings are full of chocolate, right? right! I guess we couldn’t be trusted! haha).
Here are our stockings, hung with care… and yes, I am trying to honor my husband’s tradition, I put the first batch of things into his stocking today!
In my family, we selected one gift to open on Christmas Eve– with Mom and Dad’s approval. Obviously they wanted to be sure we didn’t open a gift that would reveal another gift (like a case for a nintendo when you don’t have one). My family was also big on trying to guess what the gift was based on the creative description on the tag…. yep, that’s right, we’re that family that doesn’t put names, we put nicknames or phrases that suggest both the recipient and the gift category! My family also uses boxes that aren’t the original packaging. I am told that once upon a time my dad wrapped a bunch of boxes within boxes with a small box that actually had the present in it for my mom. I don’t think she guessed that one 😉
My family also takes turns opening gifts. We would go around the room, each person opening one gift at a time with the attention of all the others. We also all don’t tear the paper. This was, apparently, shocking to my husband when he witnessed it last year.
Having a live tree and dedicated time to decorate it together was a big deal for me. We had an artificial tree growing up, but my second family (who graciously opened their home to me for regular stays to keep me from commuting over an hour to work each day for 4 years) had a live one, and I went with them the past few years to pick it out and help decorate; a tradition that we continued (at least with the decorating part) when we visited them in Virginia the day after Thanksgiving. N and I had great fun picking and decorating our tree this year, complete with listening to Christmas music.
A big tradition that we both love and are sure to continue is attending a Christmas Eve service. What better way to celebrate Jesus on the Eve of his birth than with other believers? We are so excited to attend one of the special Christmas Eve services at our church this year with a few of our very dear friends that we met in our marriage small group. We will also be reading the Christmas Story, probably accompanied by some hot chocolate!
I am excited about setting a few other traditions; however, since my husband does read my blog posts, I can’t post about all of them just yet ;)….some of them are surprises for him this time around!
What are some of your favorite family Christmas traditions?
I’m linking up with some wonderful military wives as we celebrate 12 days of Christmas by answering questions and sharing memories. Head on over to Wives of Faith and check it out… or even join in if you’re a military spouse!