Since I was a little girl, I can remember always doing the same thing on Christmas. Doing it each year I never thought of it as tradition but now this year changing it I know it was tradition and my heart is a little sad over it.
In the Christmas season we had many traditions. I remember always going to the tree farm having hot apple cider and picking up my moms perfect flocked tree. Then coming home and setting it up. Decorating at our house was always an art for my mom so helping was left to hanging our own ornaments that she had for us. Then we would watch Christmas movies and have hot chocolate. At Christmas when we were younger we would go and pick out fancy dresses which we would wear to sit on Santa’s lap, but slowly this got harder and harder to do as our family grew.
But for as long as I can remember on Christmas Eve we would get dressed up, and go for Appies at my Kookum and Papas, the feast was always delicious. From meat platters, veggie platters to chocolate and grandmas home-made cookies. When we were younger my uncle would dress up as santa and hand us each 1 gift, then grandpa and kookum would give us one. Santas was always a toy. Kookum and Papa’s a sweater from Eaton’s. (Yes I am old enough that I shopped at Eatons!) Then us kiddos would head into my grandparents huge basement and play while the grown ups hung out upstairs. When it was time to go my dad would drive the long way home showing us all the Christmas Lights, we would get home and prepare our treats for Santa and the reindeer. Once that was done we would all gather around the tree and Mom would bring out our one present, fresh pajamas! We would get dressed in our new pjs and head to bed.
Growing up in a family of 4, it was like an unwritten rule that whoever woke up first woke up the others. Then as soon as all us kids were up mom and dad allowed us to open our stockings while we waited for them to get out of bed. In our stocking always a tooth-brush, magazine, orange at the bottom and other goodies. Then it was time for breakfast, Mom always made her famous pancakes and dad told us tales of catching santa outside and having to help the reindeer and santa get on their way. Then it was present time, everyone open a present at the same time and we showed everyone what we got than next gift, always making sure everyone had a gift. After that we would get dressed and ready to go for our early dinner at our Uncles. Slowly each year our numbers have changed, shrinking and growing as we lose members to unfortunate events and gain them through the growth of family. What has always remained the same is pjs on Christmas Eve and papa and Kookum’s on Christmas Eve.
This year, we are going to my father in-laws on the island. Last year him and his wife bought a beautiful home up in the forest and we haven’t spent a Christmas with him in the 9 years we have been together so this year is his turn! I am sad because there won’t be fresh pjs or treats at papas and kookums or an orange in the bottom of my stocking. But I love that I feel this way, I love that I am blessed enough to have had these traditions instilled in me from my family. So with that it became apparent to me that Chris and I must come up with traditions for our family.
So I started researching traditions, it’s super important to me that Pearce has these. It doesn’t have to be going to the same place each year but just something that we do each year. One thing I will carry on is always giving him fresh pjs on Christmas Eve, which seems to be a pretty common idea. But one thing I did last year and will do again this year is stamping his feet. I love the idea of watching his feet grow!
So my thoughts were to start Christmas traditions with Pearce so I reached out and asked people, what is your favorite Christmas traditions; I got a couple who open reindeer gifts on Christmas Eve, some who open pjs and some who get to pick a small gift. Another was whoever finds the pickle ornament on the tree gets to open the first present. Some it was just decorating the tree while enjoying hot chocolate and baileys as a family. A few friends go to midnight mass. Some people gather on Christmas Eve for games and appies. Some people get all their family together and go on ski trips, or stay in a cabin bundled by the fire before the holidays. Many people make old family recipes of cookies and treats.
I wanted to write this blog to give me ideas of how to create a special holiday season for my family as well to help young families create traditions in their home. But then I realized as I tried to brain storm on how I could make Christmas really special for Pearce that something all the traditions I could find had in common was family. I realized that I was already giving Pearce something that would be a tradition and that was being with our family. Even though each year has been different it has been filled with the people we love. Although there will be tiny traditions each year the only thing I really want to be tradition is that Pearce is always with family and people who love him and maybe a pair of fresh pjs.
If you have tradition that you think would be great for other families I would love you to hear it, Comment here or on our Facebook Page : Chasing My Mini Monster Blog or Instagram @monsterzmama.
Look forward to hearing from all of you! Merry Christmas from The Helm Clan To all Of you!