Every year for Christmas we would head to my parents’ house for dinner on Christmas Eve.  The meal always included Norwegian meatballs, lefse and lutefisk (oh, don’t ask).  It was almost always served buffet style.  We’d load up our plates and sit in the living room.  After dinner the kids would handle the clean-up and dishes.  Then we would head to church for the Christmas Eve service.  As a child the anticipation of what would come next would make the church service seem like it was hours too long.  For as long as I can remember we’ve always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve – after church.  My parents’ goal was always that everyone takes turns opening one gift at a time.  Usually we’d get ahead of ourselves and open gifts simutaneously.  Christmas morning brought stockings from Santa – but you had to wait for parents to wake up – or in later years – for the rest of the family to arrive.  Christmas day was filled with visiting friends (or boyfriends) and playing games with the family.

That has been my Christmas experience every year of my life. 

Except this year.

This is the first year that our family is on our own to make our own traditions.  To pick our own meal.  To decide when to open gifts.   How to spend our days.  Wow.  Um…  It’s kind of hard to make up new traditions when all you’ve known is your own family’s traditions.  I have found one tradition that I want to start – a Jesse Tree.  But seeing as how you’re supposed to start it on Dec. 1st and here it is the day before Christmas Eve…. it will have to wait until next year.

How about you?  What are your family Christmas traditions?


2 responses to “Traditions…

  • Dan Esparza

    -Decorating the tree the day/weekend after Thanksgiving.
    -Zucchini bread / gingerbread cookies
    -Advent calendars (with a small piece of chocolate in every day)
    -Moving the snowflake (we have a calendar that counts down to Christmas and uses a snowflake to mark the current date)
    -Budgeting for / shopping for a small gift for siblings and Mom/Dad (the girls get to do this – it’s a blast each year we’ve done this. One parent takes one girl and shops for the other parent/girl, then we come home and wrap the presents.)
    -Hanging cards we get from friends / relatives in a special place
    -Sending cards to friends / relatives

    New traditions starting this year:
    An Angel tree gift
    Hanging candy canes on the tree

  • littletiger

    Childhood traditions
    Making Christmas candy to give away to our friends and family.
    Setting up the Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend and decorating the entire house.
    Opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning with Christmas carols playing in the background.

    New married traditions
    Steve and I setting up all the lights out in the front yard.
    Going to the Church of Joy light show at least once.
    Visiting with Steve’s parents on Christmas Eve.
    Hosting Christmas day dinner at our house for both sets of parents.

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