December is a month filled with traditions…but then again, if you are a "O" family member, every month has some sort of family tradition to participate in. However, December seems to be the busiest. We have many traditions – some we like and continue every year, some we somewhat like and do every 2 -3 years and some we may just do with out the next year. But all in all – we have a fun filled family month.
One of my most favorite traditions: Since we have been married (just a couple of years…haa haa-it's actually 27! years today! OH MY how time flies!) , I have kept nearly every Christmas card that we have received from family and friends, co-workers, ward leaders etc. At the end of the Christmas season I always write on the back where we lived, the year and a little bit about the “person” or “people” that we have gotten the card from. We bring them out every year and hang them on a door or wall – wherever they will fit… It is really quite fun, because it looks like we have LOTS and LOTS of friends and receive LOTS of cards every year. When in fact, the cards have slowly dwindled over the years, I’d like to think it is due to the economy and such, and not that we are loosing our friends… The part I LOVE about this tradition is when my kids will look at and read them, then they ask “Who is that?” “Where do they live?” It is very fun to reminisce and share stories with the kids and try to help them “recall” who these people are. It is really fun for us as a family to reflect on the friends and neighbors that we have shared life’s experiences with through the years.
When our oldest children were little, and cassette tapes were the “in thing” we would set a tape recorder out on Christmas morning and just record all the going-ons during the morning hours. Then we would play it back later at night along with the prior years. This was a fun because they would listen for the things that they may have received in the prior Christmas’s and get all excited again.. Sometimes it would cause a few tears because they may have lost or broken their “favorite” gift and they were missing it. The other fun part was listening to their “voices” – they would always ask “WHO IS THAT” – and it would be them! It was fun to see how their voices had changed even as little as they were.
Every year I purchase a new Christmas story book. I wrap and place it under the tree. Each night, starting on December 1, we gather together and read a Christmas story and when we run out of books, that is the night we will open the “NEWEST” Christmas book. It is always fun to see what each of the kids favorite stories are. The night we open the new book, I write the date/year in the front cover – just so we will remember when we got that book…
This is probably the FAMILY favorite! On Christmas Eve, we meet at Grandma & Grandpa "O's" home with all the aunts, uncles & cousins for dinner and our traditional family gift exchange. The last gift of the evening is a “special” one that all the grandchildren wait for with excitement. Their aunt makes pajama pants for all the grandchildren (and great grandchildren now). On the count of “3” they all open together their new PJ’S! The fun part is…you just never know what kind of wild and crazy fabric she has found. She usually finds something to go along with something that has happened that year in the family. Like the year everyone went to Disneyland, the PJ’s were Mickey Mouse. One year a cousin was on a mission in Indiana – home of the “Certified Livestock” and the PJ’s were COW PRINT… Not one child is left out, and being that several of them are married with children of their own, they are still sports and put on the PJ’s for the “Cousin PJ Photo Shoot!” So fun… (I wish "I" were one of the "grandkids".... hint hint ;) ) .... I wonder what it will be this year….
This year, grandma made all the grand-kids a teddy bear... each of them "cherish" this little bear!
Another one of MY favorite traditions... well, I'll post it tomorrow... stay tuned.....
What are your favorite traditions?