Thursday, November 13, 2008

Holiday Traditions

Today is day two at the MomDot blog party and we are talking about our favorite Holiday traditions and traditions that we want to start. The traditions of my family growing up were very different from the traditions of my husband's family. This caused some confusion and friction early on. We soon decided to just do things our own way.

I was used to large family gatherings at Thanksgiving. We dragged out all of the table leaves, all the chairs and sometimes a piano bench. Sometimes we needed a separate little table for the children. I remember swiping stuffed celery and black olives while waiting for dinner to be ready. I remember sitting on phone books so I could be high enough to reach my plate. Turkey sandwiches for supper later. Football zombies passed out on the family room floor. Cousins!

I believe that my my hubs would usually spend Thanksgiving at deer camp while growing up. A four day weekend was not to be wasted during deer hunting season! I'm not sure if his mom cooked anything special...

Starting in 1999 when we had a mid-November baby, I stopped trying to be my grandma and I cut myself some slack in the cooking dept. That year we had pizza and tater tots for Thanksgiving dinner! It was the most relaxing Thanksgiving day ever! A couple of years later we had an October baby and we did the same thing again. I still appreciate a traditional dinner, but I don't kill myself over it anymore. I think it would be a nice tradition to start inviting single, or lonely people to share the day with us. What do you think?

This year the ten of us will be travelling 3 hours for one of those old-time family Thanksgiving dinners. It's going to be crazy, but you never know if you'll get to spend another Holiday with the ones you love. More important than the 5 pies I'm bringing are the memories we'll be sharing and making. Like the MasterCard commercial...priceless.

As far as Christmas goes, we always like to put up the tree at Thanksgiving. Growing up, we would wait until it was closer to Christmas, but my philosophy is why not enjoy the festive decorations as long as possible? With eight children I don't do any of the decorating. I hand out ornaments with hooks to the kids one at a time and they trim the tree! The big kids help lift the little ones to place ornaments up high and help spread them all out nicely. I take pictures also.

We love to watch movies together at Christmas time. It' a Wonderful Life is a favorite, along with The Christmas Story. We also play games, although it is hard with big AND little kids to find a game that everyone can play. I remember playing charades with my family as a child. I'd love it if I could get my children to play charades!

On Christmas morning, it is ridiculous! Thankfully, my kids have always slept until a reasonable hour. They get to snuggle in bed with us until everyone is up and then we all go together to check under the tree. Then the kids go in the hall and start over so we can take the fake surprise pictures, because we forgot to get the camera ready the first time.

Last year was a difficult Christmas. Ralphie was in the hospital from December 17 - 31. I just cannot bring myself to leave him when he is there, so I didn't get to spend much time with the other children over Christmas break. I did come home to go to church on Christmas eve and wake up with the other kids. When I got back to the hospital, I found that Santa had visited Ralph, too! What a crappy way to spend your first Christmas, huh? We celebrated again on New Year's Day so he could open some presents at home.

I don't know about you, but I get a little blue when the decorations come down. It would be fine with me if my house was always Christmassy! What are your family traditions? Share them with us and be sure to thank today's sponsors of this fun blog party at LaPlates, Let's Go Strolling and Natity's Designs.

16 comments:

CompleteLee Blogger said...

I love the family pic! Very cute! I hope this Christmas you'll be able to spend the time with all your kids and have a very special day.

Julie@Cool Mom Guide said...

Tater Tots RULE! Here's My Day 2! I put Mr. Linky in there, too, so leave your link!

100daystochristmas.com said...

It was my job as well stuff the celery sticks with cheese of some sort and arrange the olives on the serving tray!

Hope this Christmas will be a much better one for you and your family!

Jen
http://www.100DaystoChristmas.com

3 Kids and Us said...

It makes me sad when the decorations come down too...even more sad for the outside ones because it's so darn cold out there.

Trish said...

I love spending the holidays with family too. I've yet to cook a Thanksgiving dinner because I'm always with family. I usually bring a dish or two though to help out.

Staci said...

I hope your little one's Christmas goes well this year, and that he's able to spend it surrounded by family!

I think inviting someone who could use some cheer is a wonderful idea. Our holidays are always spent with family and friends, who would've otherwise been alone.

Sarah said...

I don't get blue until its May and I'm still vacuuming up pine needles!

Tena said...

My kids would be so happy if they got tater tots at Thanksgiving, lol

Michelle@lifeinawhirlwind said...

I'm sorry Ralphie had a bad first Christmas. I hope this one is much better for your whole family.

Momstart said...

I love the family picture

Natalie said...

Hope you are able to celebrate this year all in one place as a family!

Tracye said...

You're right; that would be a crappy way to spend Christmas. I can't imagine what you all went through. I'm glad he's home, though!

Everything else sounds awesome!

mendezlove4kids said...

every year we have at the LEAST 48 people at my mother in laws, last year and the year before 65, thank goodness its going to be "small" this year with only 45. Its kind of stress full to make ALL that food, each couple or family makes at least 2 items, we also have not only the traditional turkey's but also prime rib and ham's, I would not give it up as the kids all just have SO much FUN!! Your kids will too! And Christmas I do here, now this year Stephanie will have FIVE kids here, so this should be interesting, as all I do that day is cook, but one year I didnt and it did not feel like Christmas, and Yes I do feel VERY blue when the decorations and tree's come down,
It is nice to know I am not the only one. Unfortunately I did start the "tradition" of the super huge biscuits and gravy breakfast and the super big dinner on Christmas, but after church we return to our pajama's and hang out the rest of the day like that! The kids and now grandkids love it! I am so glad your family will be enjoying this Christmas with Ralphie home!! :)
Laura

therextras said...

I'm a real believer in making the holidays what feels good to you. Shake-off the commercialism or as much of it as you want. Tell some of your relatives you will see them on Dec 26 or 27 so you can give more attention to your own children. Take care of yourself so you are better able to give.
Barbara

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Hi Stephanie: I have given you a blog award at my blog- www.feelchicboutique.com. You are an inspiration to me and I love Reece's Rainbow which I would have never known about if I hadn't found your blog through the Mom Dot party.

Have a blessed day and come get your award :-)

Rita @ My Precious Pennies said...

I'm sorry you had a difficult Christmas last year...this year will sure be better!