Monday, November 27, 2017

Our Christmas Traditions

I can't believe how close we are to Christmas already!  Thanksgiving seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye, but what that always means for us is the kick off to our Christmas celebrations.  What I love best about this time of year is the many traditions that we participate in, some stem from when we were kids ourselves, others are traditions that we have created over the years as we became our own family.  I always love to hear what other families do because everyone is different so I thought it would be fun to share ours since we just started to kick ours off!

These kind of go in a chronological order starting Thanksgiving night…Joe doesn't ask for much but one thing he is pretty adamant about is no Christmas movies, decorations, or music until after Thanksgiving.  This year he budged a little bit and allowed me to watch White Christmas on Thanksgiving morning which I totally took advantage of!  He kinda feels like Thanksgiving gets overlooked, and it totally does, so I appreciate that he still considers it to be an important holiday worth celebrating.   

Christmas Kick-off, as I refer to it, happens on Thanksgiving night after we have made all of our stops and stuffed ourselves full 3 times, we go home and officially kick off Christmas festivities with mimosas and Christmas movies.  We ALWAYS start with Christmas Vacation.  It's always been a favorite of mine but Joe's family takes this movie very seriously.  You'll hear his mom quoting lines all season long.  His family even has a Christmas Vacation themed costume party every year where attendants dress up as their favorite characters.  We have never been able to make the party since it happens out of town, but we are definitely a Christmas Vacation-obsessed family.  Elf and Home Alone usually follow and then we continue to watch ALL THE CHRISTMAS movies for the next month or so.

Cutting down our tree usually happens the next day, or at least the weekend of Thanksgiving.  Joe and I have been getting a real tree for about 5 years now and it's a favorite tradition of mine.  We had  a blast this year bringing Georgia, she absolutely loved it and laughed and smiled the whole time!  Once we get home we decorate it and drink mimosas and watch Christmas movies.  
Christmas shopping with my mom is something we have done since I was little.  My mom and grandma did it for years when I was a kid and then she finally started letting me come when I was in grade school.  Once my grandma passed away my mom and I continued the tradition.  We always travel out of town where the better shopping is and do lunch & shop til we drop.  Last year I about did drop being that I was 8 months pregnant, this year we will bring Georgia!  Luckily this year we don't have much shopping to do as my parents bought us a trip to Punta Cana in January.  We will probably just do stocking stuffers this year.




Christmas PJs with my in-laws has probably been one of my top favorite traditions.  This year will be different.  This is going to be a very hard holiday for all of us as Joe Sr. certainly played the patriarch role very well.  He always read us the stories out of the Christmas book and we all sat and listened with our matching jammies on and our glass-bottle Coke's in hand.  This year we will let my mother in law dictate how she wants things done, whatever works best for her, whatever is most comfortable for her.  I am still looking forward to this tradition as this will be Georgia's first set of matching PJ's, but it will also be one of our hardest for sure.

Starved Rock Stay-Over has been a tradition Joe and I kind of tagged into a few years ago.  My aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins had been doing this for 15 or more years when Joe and I were invited to start coming maybe 6 years ago.  Starved Rock is a local state park with a really beautiful lodge, veranda, and cabins.  Every year on Christmas Eve eve (the 23rd) we stay overnight in a cabin and play games, much on snacks, watch Christmas movies, and drink wayyyy too much alcohol.  We usually hit the hot tub & go for a nice dinner in the lodge.  It's a great and stress-free way to enjoy Christmas before things get really crazy on Christmas Eve and Day. 

Christmas morning breakfast & stockings & gifts has been something we have always done with my family.  We used to go to my parents' house to do it but now Christmas Day has moved to my house so they come over and we cook breakfast, drink mimosas, listen to Christmas music, and open our stockings and gifts.  We keep the group small at first, then around lunch we do an open-house and the rest of our family and friends trickle in and out throughout the day for pulled beef sandwiches and Christmas cocktails.  We stay in our PJs all day and try to relax as much as possible.  My parents have been divorced since I was 2 and I have always ran around every holiday to family gatherings, then I got married and had a 3rd family to include in the mix so finally when our house was built I said, I’m done, & started having Christmas Day at my house where I could relax & enjoy my day without running around all day long.  It's worked out well and I am so excited for Georgia to experience her first Christmas.

What are you family traditions?  Do you do anything similar to us?

4 comments:

  1. What fun you all had! We cut down our own tree too which is one of my favorite traditions.

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  2. So many fun traditions. I love that theres a tradition for the 23rd too. Have the best season with Georgia (altho I know its bittersweet for you fam with the recent loss)

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  3. I love your traditions! Just reading about all of it got me even more excited for Christmas. My side of the family kind of fell apart last fall so this is the second year of Christmas chaos and having to make new traditions. I chose to try and always focus on the bright side and we just create new traditions for our children in our home now. One thing that has stayed the same and is very similar to you, we stay in our pj's on Christmas Day and just enjoy our time together. Your plans sound amazing, though I'm so sorry for the inevitable void of your father in laws role in all the fun. Merry Christmas

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