Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Traditions

The first two years after moving from Kansas to Illinois, we drove 12 hours both ways to spend Christmas with our family. But, the trip was long and Sophia hated her car seat and it seemed once we arrived we spent a lot of time in the car rushing from one family to the next. It just didn't seem worth the trouble when we could visit in the summer and really relax and spend the quality time we wanted with our family and friends. The decision to stay home and create our own traditions was a little lonely the first year since I come from a large family and I am used to being surrounding by noise and people, but well worth it.

I have really learned to appreciate the time we have with just the four of us. Our holiday is quiet and relaxed. On Christmas Eve we bake cookies for Santa, we bake bread for Christmas morning, we prepare the Christmas meal, and we usually do some type of activity together before Alexander and Sophia exchange gifts with each other. Then at night we leave the Christmas tree lights on for Santa and head to bed. Sophia is always the first to wake up on Christmas morning and I can usually convince her to snuggle in bed with me for a while so the boys can sleep a little longer. Finally, when she can't stand it any longer, we all head downstairs together to see what Santa has left.

I have heard my kids both say that one of their favorite parts of Christmas day is that Steve and I devote the entire day to them. Most of the cooking/baking is finished on Christmas Eve so we have little preparations to do. Instead we spend the day playing. As the kids get older and less toys are purchased I can see us playing board games or finding new ways to spend the day together. Whatever it is, I can't wait. I find myself getting more and more excited each day.


  1. It sounds like you've created some beautiful Christmas traditions together.

    Christmas has been quieter since my grandparents passed away some years ago, but I've come to love my family's new traditions. My sister and I, both in our 20s now, spend a quiet day with my parents and the pets. We eat a big, late breakfast, take a long walk in the woods, even nap for a bit in the afternoon. It's not nearly as hectic as it used to be, but I wouldn't change a thing.

  2. I am happy to have been able to get to know you and your family during this past year, I hope your Christmas celebration is a great one!

  3. Sounds like a great Christmas time ritual your family has developed. And it will be even more special once the kids grow up and look back and remember Christmas at home.

    Our daughter was always up as soon as she woke up on Christmas morning. No amount of coaxing could get her to go back to sleep.

    Merry Christmas

  4. Merry Christmas to you and your family Cathy!

  5. I love having my own family traditions with my children and husband. It seems what we had growing up has changed and passed. This was our first year not playing games because the kids were to busy texting their friends. Think maybe the cellphones should have waited until the end of day. But Christmas eve the kids still love to have me read christmas books and we bake, hang out and just enjoy each other. I think starting our own traditions is a wonderful thing.