Christmas is in less than a week. Actually, need week at this time, it will be over and I took PTO so I will be in bed or snuggling with a warm beverage…or buying all the discounting Christmas decorations.
This morning I have really been thinking about past traditions of a normal Christmas in my house. I have said before that it evolved over the years to slowly breaking down and changing…but I guess that always happens in some sense.
And so today I am going to explain my young child Christmas. Teenager Christmas. And then Christmas now married and living with my pups and Matthew.
Christmas as a child: Leading up to Christmas
As a child we would always put up the Christmas tree on or around my father’s birthday, December 13. We would play Christmas music and my mother, father, and two brothers would all need to partake in the tree decorating. We would have certain ornaments that we just NEW that person would place on the tree and ornaments we new had to go on. We had an Igloo with a husky inside that my mother loved for her first dog was a husky, Libby. We had our baby pictures plastered on laminated trees from our kindergarten years and of course, each year my mother would always say “Oh look at “so and so.” Our music selection would be played through the radio and eventually through the playstation. Once we had CD’s, it became The Grinch, John Lennon, or the TransSiberian Orchestra with a a few tradition Christmas carols CD’s thrown in there. I would always write a letter to Santa and would NOT show my parents. I think I did this letter every year in secret and I would put it under the tree. Therefore, every year was a letter back from Santa apologizing for not getting me my present….I then would proceed to get that item for my birthday two months later. I would watch some classics movie such as The Grinch (cartoon) or Rudolph, but my mother would always make us rent a “Jesus” movie as she would call it. And so to Blockbuster I would go with my father normally sometimes with a brother tagging along and we would pick out a “Jesus” movie: Jesus Christ Super Star was a fav. And we would get another random movie as well.
When we were little little, I shared a room with my brother David and two parents. Our twin bed we shared was right next to my parents’ queen and I was able to roll back and forth. In the years we slept hear, if one of us got up-we were all up. Eventually we built an addition that became me and David’s room. One of us would wake up and ask the other, “Are you up?” If not, we would try to go back to bed until the anxiousness got too much and we would run out. Or we would look out our bedroom window to see if my mother would outside walking the dogs. If so, you knew not much was going to happen since we always got the ball rolling. When she would come in, she would come in saying Merry Christmas or It’s Christmas and we would run out getting our older brother, Billy and sit around the Christmas Tree.
The presents were never out the night before and we always have the same place to sit every year. I was on the left of the tree, David in the middle, Billy on the right. We would one at a time open our presents in this rotation with my parents and grandmother added in when we started to get low on gifts. They always had less gifts so we would wait until then. My mother would be snapping pictures at all the worse times, but looking back the best candids on our film camera.
My grandmother would tell me she heard hoofs on the roof last night and I would say that I think I heard or saw Santa too. Turns out my grandmother had sleigh bells in her room that she would jingle at some point in the night or early morning (I wouldn’t remember in my sleepy state).
We’d open our gifts. Eat breakfast normally consisting of egg, toast, milk, juice, coffee, and fruit and get ready for Church.We always had a Church outfit even if it was the same one worn the year before or a dress we already had. We would go to mass then return home to take Christmas pictures. We would make sure to get a picture of each of our pets with their toys as well.
After church was lunch time and then playing with our toys time. I actually never liked this down time. I was always ready to go go go or maybe I didn’t really get toys to necessarily play with. I think I used to take a nap or watch Billy play his new video game. I would then fight with him over it being my turn since I was a player as well.Final Fantasy 7 all the way.
We would then change to our warmer clothes and get ready for the cemeteries. Sometimes this would have to wait to the next day, but when we had time on Christmas we would buy all the items for the graves and then go visit. We had two cemeteries to go to, my mother’s side and then my father’s side. We would go and be freezing. Say a silent pray then rush back to the car. We did this for all holidays with only the father’s on fathers day and mother’s on mothers day etc.
Coming home my mother would need to continue cooking for dinner. Our Christmas dinner was the same dinner as Thanksgiving. Turkey, corn, cranberry sauce, mash potatoes, biscuits, some for of veggie, and dessert.
I would sit at my dinner place and talk to my mom or grandmom while she cooked and I would help out here and there. I was always the tablesetter. We would break out our fancy glasses on this day.
We would hold hands before this meal and my mother or father would begin the pray. This soon would become my brother Billy’s job even to this day.
We would sit and talk enjoy some board games perhaps after dinner. Christmas or the day after my half brothers/sisters would come to visit and we would always get a visit from my Aunt Annie and Uncle Jack. Aunt Laura would come with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Kitty with her daughter and grandchildren would make an appearance or we would go visit them. We would take pictures of course!
I decided I didn’t to be a debby downer and go into too much detail on this one. Our tree was put up by me and my dad or just my dad close to Christmas and we would attend church Christmas Eve. I would put my presents under the tree in the morning and we would eat breakfast first and I wouldn’t mention opening the presents. I would still go to the graves with my parents at first, but no one came over our house anymore besides Aunt Annie and our visits to family became 1 visit. We still had dinner together when my older brother’s could. I started going over Christmas Eve to my boyfriend’s house and spending all day there. I didn’t realize how much the graves meant to me until my parents went without me. It was a lot more me and my boyfriend.
We go and cut a Christmas Tree down with my in-laws in the same farm they have been going to for years. We started our own tradition of buying 1 ornament here each year that we like and hopefully is meaningful. The weekend following Thanksgiving, the Christmas lights get turned on and decoration inside the house are up.
Christmas Eve we go to my in-laws around noon for their Christmas Lunch/Dinner. We return home a few times to take our Ms. Dakota and make sure she is doing well. My father would stop by for a few hours and now both parents for a short time frame since they are retired. After everyone leaves, me and my husband give his sister her gift and she gives us ours. We go to see a Christmas house that is crazy decorated and begin to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…I normally fall asleep. This is what we have always done and so I keep this tradition for my husband. I kinda do what to make our own after seeing the Christmas home.
Christmas Eve night we allow Dakota to sleep in our bed…this was a new thing last year…now she is there every night anyway. We wake up early like 6ish hour and put our presents and Dakota under the tree. We exchange ours then act as if Dakota is a child and help her own hers. We take a few morning pictures and then go to my in-laws for breakfast. After breakfast, we return to our home and get ready for church. We meet my parents at the 11:30am mass and say goodbye until we see them at 5:00pm for dinner at our house. My mother still will bring the meat, a side, and dessert. But it will be at my house and I will make a side and dessert. This time between church and dinner is the in between time I want to find a tradition to make or even after Christmas dinner. I don’t want to simply sleep from church to dinner. I do want to go to the graves a week from today. If Matt doesn’t have off, I’ll go alone unless my parents plan to go. They are real awkward when it comes to sentimental things so I most likely won’t tell them I go unless they are going already that same day.
And so now, I will think hard and long maybe google some things of what we could do.
Suggestions are 100% welcome.
Happy 6 days until!