Monday, November 22, 2010

12 Days Of Christmas Blog Challenge - Holiday Traditions

I'm so excited to participate in Aly & Molly's 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Challenge!  Today's question is about your favorite holiday traditions:

Holiday traditions….well this one is tough. As a child, the traditions were strict and always the same. My Nana (mother’s mom) would spend the night with us on Christmas Eve. We got to open one present on Christmas Eve night and somehow mom always managed to make sure that present was a new set of pajamas. Coincidence?? We would wake up Christmas morning with Nana and see what Santa brought us and open the rest of our presents.

Then we would head over to my Mema & Pepa’s (dad’s parents) around 9 or 10 to have Christmas brunch with my dad’s large family (he’s the baby of four!) Talk about some good eating – no one makes biscuits and gravy like my Mema did. Total traditional, huge Southern breakfast. Yum! After breakfast, my grandfather would sit on the couch and all the grandkids (all ten of us) would sit around him while he read us the Christmas Story of Jesus’ birth from Luke. Then the youngest cousins would pass out the presents to everyone and we would dig in.

But now my Nana and Mema have both passed away. All of my cousin’s have married and have started having children of their own and each family is starting to make traditions of their own. Since I’ve been married the traditions have gotten a little “hairy” as we try to find the right balance between spending the holidays with my family and spending the holidays with Steven’s family. It’s hard to make traditions when each year holiday plans change as you try to accommodate different families.

I think to be honest, the holidays have kind of lost their sparkle with the passing of my grandmothers. As old traditions fade, it’s difficult to feel the holiday spirit without new traditions to take their place. I guess that’s a transition that most married adults probably face. Finding the balance between what you’ve done all your life and what you will doing going forward now that you have an extended family.

I’m starting to realize that Steven and I need to focus on making traditions of our own together – because no matter what, I will be with him each holiday. The past two years we have spent the Saturday after Thanksgiving decorating the house for Christmas. Steven totally indulges my holiday spirit – we light a fire (even if it’s not cold) and set the radio to a Christmas station. He helps me put up the tree and finds all the “holes” where an ornament needs to go. By the end of the evening my home has become my own Winter Wonderland.  We have also spent the past two years watching the “classic” Christmas movies. I guess I never really watched them as a child and Steven was appauled when he found out: the original Miracle on 34th Street & It’s a Wonderful Life are now two of my favorites. I wonder what Steven will suggest that we watch this year? I’m looking forward to creating traditions of my own with Steven over the upcoming years as we build a family together.


Rebekah said...

Being married is harder on traditions. It's all about balance. We're on our own for this Christmas, and so I'm hoping we'll be starting our own traditions!

Mateya said...

I totally agree about the sparkle being lost when losing grandparents. Now that we don't go to my grandparents, it seems like something is missing!

And I have never seen the older Christmas movies like, "It's a Wonderful Life." Am I missing out? :)

The Wife In Her New Life said...

I am learning quickly that having different traditions is a hard balance as a married couple, as you saw in my post.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful traditions =) Good luck creating new ones with your husband!

Miss Southern Vol said...

Seems like we are all in the same point with newly young and marriend and trying to create our own traditions and paths but still holding on to all we have known our entire lives. You have a GREAT outlook for you and Steven making your own traditions. I cannot imagine what holidays will be like when my grandparents pass. That will surely be a scary day!

Kit said...

This is my first year being married and doing things for the holidays. I hope that we can figure out when and where to spend out time without making anyone get upset!

Anne said...

I totally know how you feel. We are in that stage too where we don't have many traditions of our own yet because we don't have kids, but with everyone growing up, moving away, having kids, etc. things look different every year.

And I had never seen A Christmas Story all the way through before I got married and my husband couldn't believe it. I still have not seen Miracle on 34th St. or It's a Wonderful Life. Maybe I will have to give those a shot this year!

Molly said...

How fun about starting your own traditions with your hubby! We've learned to do our own things as well, and its just as fun.

Thanks for joining!

Kelly said...

I totally know how you feel. All of my grandparents have passed away and the family is growing and starting their own traditions. I wrote in my post about how thankful I was to be at my Granny's home on her last Christmas Eve; we kept the tradition alive until the end.

It is exciting to think of the traditions that you will start with you and Steven! Greg and I always make a point to watch "Family Man" (like It's a Wonderful Life but modern) together... among tons of other family traditions that we still keep up.

Melanie said...

I know what you mean Amber..when we 'grow up' and get married..Christmas definately takes on a different meaning than it did when we were younger. Very important to make new traditions!! Glad u and Steven are starting some traditions of your own! Damon is going to HAVE to help me with the decorations and tree this year (I try to start on my decorating the weekend after thanksgiving too)..since I'm preggers I am not going to be able to do it all!

Aly @ Analyze This said...

I fear losing my Grandma's. I fear that when that happens, my family won't come together for the holidays or birthdays as much! They both are the glue to the families!

Thanks for sharing your traditions! Loved reading them! :)

Alisha said...

Love this! Family traditions with my family are so similar to yours its crazy!! Miss my grandpa reading the Christmas story from the Bible too... Thanks for sharing. My fiance and I are finding it difficult too, with holidays and sharing the day with both sides of our family, but we'll figure it out!

P.S. New follower! :)

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