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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Traditions from our Smarty Moms & Dads

By Rachel H

We hope you all had a Merry Merry Christmas! If you missed Tuesday's and Thursday's posts, be sure to go back and see the holiday traditions shared by our Smarty Moms and Dads from the past year. Today we are continuing on with more wonderful traditions ...

Edward Reese - Each Christmas Eve we celebrate by going to midnight mass at church (Saint Benedict the Moor Catholic Church)! The family tradition is afterwards, our entire family and several friends (20-30 people) meet at our house for breakfast which usually begans about 2am XMAS morning! Everyone exchanges and gets to open one present during this event and the midnight mass family breakfast celebration usually winds down at about 4am....

Wendy Piazza - Our favorite Christmas tradition is that of baking breads, muffins, scones, or cookies for our teachers. I feel it is very important to show appreciation to our hard working teachers, and I want my children to show that appreciation as well. Christmas is a great opportunity to teach the importance of giving. I hope that my children learn that it doesn't need to cost a lot of money to give a beautiful gift. It is actually all the more beautiful when time and effort is put into something being given from the heart. So, every year before school lets out for Christmas, I get the kids together to bake for a day. We make an event out of it and they all wear their aprons! The kids really enjoy this and I hope as they get older we can extend the tradition to include baking for the local nursing homes as well.

Karin Head - The week before Thanksgiving our family makes the annual trek to Blowing Rock for our family Christmas tree hunt. We load up and prepare for snow, rain or sunshine and make the trip to the mountains. As soon as we arrive, we get our hot cocoa and cookies and start the search. Usually the dog comes with us and bounds around searching for creatures to chase. The kids run and play among the evergreens and mom takes lots of pictures of this family memory. Once we find the perfect living room tree we then move on to find the Charlie Brown trees. This starts us all off on the right foot and gets us into the spirit. That said, Christmas music plays at our house year round. Mom's really love Christmas!

Another tradition is each Christmas eve we have the great family event including dinner, church, the story of Christ's birth and of course Twas the Night Before Christmas. We follow it up with prep for Santa's reindeer and the big guy himself. We open a special gift, enjoy fresh hot cocoa and the kids hit the bed early. Sometimes they even hear Santa's sleigh bells outside and then they go right to sleep. Christmas morning is all the rage of opening gifts and eating. At noon we then try to think about others and begin the meal for the Ronald McDonald House. We eat sandwiches on Christmas night, play basketball and relax with friends. I usually enjoy a glass of wine!

Summer Riley - We have three traditions that we always do at Christmas ...

1) We always get pajamas--usually matching for the kids for their christmas eve present. We have a whole series of pictures now of the kids in their christmas eve outfits.
2) We do an advent calendar with the doors, each door has a little bible lesson or craft on a small slip of paper and there is candy for each of the kids. (now four!)
3) This one is new... I wrapped 24 of our favorite holiday story books and labeled them 1-24 so we can open one each night. We tend to read and reread these stories throughout the month, but it is like a little bit of Christmas excitement every night. (Also when I pack up "Christmas" to go in the attic, I might even take the time to wrap them as I store them.)

Rachel H- My favorite Christmas tradition took place at my Aunt’s house in Pennsylvania each year. We always had at least 25 relatives in attendance for Christmas Eve. We would have a huge meal with lots of great Italian food, lots of loud music & dancing, and lots of children running around the house. After dinner we would patiently await Santa’s arrival. We would spot Santa crossing her front yard, usually in the snow and all the children would freak out as expected. (Sometimes Santa even carried sparklers, but that started to get a little dangerous!) Santa would come in the house and call each child on his lap to give a special Christmas Eve gift. Then the children would leave the room to go play with their gifts and Santa would then call each adult up to sit on his lap and receive a gag gift! My aunt worked hard all year buying the perfect Santa gag gift for each adult and every gift had a humorous poem to go along with it. Some were naughty, some were nice, but all always got a good laugh! Then we’d send Santa on his way because he’d have to go deliver toys to all the girls and boys that night!


Amy said...

Enjoyed reading these this weekend as we still relish in the holiday fun!

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