Finally a free weekend to take down anything holly and jolly. The living room was just simply overpowered by trees and garland. I was finally ready for it all to go away! Plus, I was truly missing my favorite papasan sofa that we had to take out just to make room for the trees.
As I took off each ornament and each string of lights, it really made me reflect on the amazing things we did to prepare for the holidays. I reminisced on the traditions we filled and the activities we attended. Traditions and events besides my referencing blogs, Gingerbread House, Tradition Tree: Part I, Tradition Tree: Part II and Elf on the shelf.
First, we went to a school event that had games, crafts and food. It’s called Candy Cane Lane and we have attended this event for the past two years.
Another of our traditions within the past two years is going to see a large display of Christmas lights in Ocean City, MD. The event consists of everyone ride a train to tour through the variety of lights and listen to Christmas songs according to display. My son loved the shark lights the most. They had it look like the shark was coming at everyone, and my son yelled out enthusiastically.
We also drove around to near by neighborhoods with my son, dad and brother to look at house displays. We found two neighborhoods with such amazing displays of lights. Even one with a Santa out front. Every year that we do this we make sure to pack blankets, hot chocolate and play classic Christmas songs just to add to the sentiments of the moment. These are traditions that I past down to my son, since my family used to do this with me since I was a small child.
A new thing to try however was that I attempted to make Christmas tree pancakes for one Saturday morning breakfast!
Also, during a visit at my dad’s, we watched some classic Christmas movies. I watched the Christmas Story for about the hundredth time in my lifetime, but it would be the first for my son. He absolutely loved the movie!
We also watched a cartoon that I had watched as a kid called, Life with Louie. My father recorded it years ago and had saved it all this time. He took value in the cartoon as the father character reminded him if his own old man and how there was a nice little moral of helping others in the story.
Tradition isn’t complete without baking a variety of Christmas cookies. My son loves helping to break the eggs and dumping in the ingredients. Of course, we both love licking the spoon and bowl afterwards. No matter what, I make myself sick every year and although I just can’t stop eating cookies and it’s scrumptious dough.
Every year, we miss out on parades or the opportunity of being in parades. It’s just hard to cram every event and tradition in such a short time. However this year, my son was able to be in a Christmas parade that included 100 displays!
My most favorite traditions are on Christmas Eve. This year, I was able to take a Christmas Vacation, so we were able to stretch out our traditions early. The past couple of years, my son’s school has provided gifts for the children to pick out for their parents – so generous & thoughtful. I believe it teaches them the true meaning of Christmas and giving instead of always receiving. Children want to be included in giving as well, but especially to their parents who care for them year round.
Also, during our gift exchange, we include our pets. We give our pet cat, Layla a new collar and treats every year. This year, we had to give a gift to our pet beta fish, Larry. Plus, I have some gifts to give to my son from myself. Over all, it is very nice.
Then, on Christmas eve day, we visit family for dinner and gift exchange. My son gets spoiled of course! And if we have time, we meet with friends as well.
Then, Christmas eve night usually ends with sucking up as much family time as possible, which means going to bed late. Once we come home, we always unload the car of gifts and then get ready for Santa to come. Usually our elf, Timmy has a plate and mug set up, so we only have to take care of the milk and cookies. My son likes to pick out each type of cookie to put on the plate for Santa as I pour the milk. Then, we say one last goodbye to our elf and go to bed. Every year, we lay in bed together and watch Frosty the Snowman. It is my son’s absolute favorite Christmas movie.
Then, once my son falls asleep. Santa comes!
Then, it is Christmas day! No early get up – sleep in until 8am! Time for presents and blessings!
So, these trees and holiday decorations will again hold more memories from another year of Christmas joy. It was nice while it lasted, but everything comes to an end at some point. January is that point. All we can do is try to hold onto that spirit of love, giving and compassion all year long instead of having a tree to remind you to do so one month out of the year. However, I can’t wait until next year’s traditions and wonderful smiles of joy.