I've been thinking about family traditions around the holidays. I'm alone this year, so it is really deeply moving to me. It isn't "moving" in a bad way. It is simply stirring up nostalgia like crazy!
When I was a kid, we never got to see the tree on Christmas morning until after... after!! ... breakfast! I used to think that was so mean! Oh, and breakfast wasn't a fast bowl of cereal, either, but a full-fledged farm breakfast of bacon or sausage and eggs, toast or biscuits, or sometimes pancakes or waffles. This meant at least an hour of squirming and sighing, anticipation building and excitement brimming to the max!
Did my parents do this to be mean? No, I don't think so, but at the time I surely did! I think they knew that we wouldn't eat well the rest of the day, at least not until the big dinner later in the day, and they wanted us to be sure to have some decent nourishment before we began consuming candy hand over fist. And despite my eager anxiety, I think they did enjoy the anticipation we were building during those breakfasts around the huge table that was the center of our family meals.
As long as I lived in my parents home Santa Claus came to leave me a gift. In fact, even after I was married, he left gifts for me on the Christmas' spent at their home. Many years I helped my sister and her husband put together "Santa gifts" for their children (they lived across the street from us), sometimes staying up till ridiculous hours when a wagon or a tricycle stumped us or a part was missing, then went to bed. Upon rising in the morning, there was a gift from Santa for me! No matter how late I was up, Santa was up later.
I loved the Christmas Eves spent with my own children and husband at church. It was a very special to sit together (we filled a whole pew) and sing carols together. My daughter and I were always sitting together, and if for some reason we weren't, she would scramble down several seats, over her brothers' and sisters' toes to be with me when we sang "Silent Night." I always sing alto on that particular song, and she loved to huddle close to me and harmonize, our own special moments together.
We had a special thing we did as our kids grew older. It became increasingly difficult for me to find stocking stuffers for teenagers and young adults. Those of you with teens, probably understand that. My son actually started this tradition when one year he had a special little stocking stuffer for each family member. I loved it that I had some help, and suggested that we do that in the future. It worked well for several years, and it was fun to have an extra special little gift from each person. Sometimes you didn't know from whom, but you knew that some thought went into the selection of that gift whether it was a really nice gift or a humorous bobble!
So those are some of my favorite tradition memories. Tell us some of yours!