Now Christmas is a completely different story. I LOVE this holiday and I start my 'season' as soon as I can which means Christmas planning is already on the top of my mind. One of the things my sister and I have been discussing recently is what we want to do now that children are back in our Christmas plans for traditions.
To begin with my family has always spent Christmas together. When my siblings and I moved to Winnipeg to go to university, we either travelled home or our parents came to us, depending on our work schedules. In 2008 when my sister and her husband moved back to our hometown, we decided to do Christmas in Winnipeg (where D & I live, as well as my brother-in-law's family) one year and The Pas (where my sister, brother-in-law, and parents live) the other year, and we have flipped back and forth every year since.
Technically my brother moved to a third city and recently having his Christmas schedule mesh with ours hasn't been as easy, this year may be the first year that we don't see him until after the holiday due to schedule conflicts but hopefully this works itself out in the future.
Since we are together every Christmas, agreeing on what traditions we want to keep from our childhood and what we want to add is important. Having cousins get completely different experiences wouldn't be fun for them, when both of our children are old enough to understand whats going on.
Also I'll be honest...a lot of these traditions are for our benefit. I love doing the things that we do and have put up fights when its discussed that we might stop any of them.
Currently our Christmas Traditions include:
- Opening one gift on Christmas Eve which is always a new pair of pajamas (this way we look 'nice' for Christmas morning photos...not that this does anything for my messy hair and lack of makeup in the morning)
- Stockings - now that we are all adults we decided that it wasn't fair that our parents front the cost of this alone, especially since we are the ones that didn't want to stop, so we all are responsible for getting stocking stuffers at $10/person. We each pick a theme to purchase so we have some variation in our stockings (kitchen gadgets, bathroom toiletry, books, games, candy, etc)
- Reading a Christmas story on Christmas Eve - our father usually does this.
- Christmas Eve dinner includes traditional Norwegian dishes. (Lutefisk & Lefse - one is delicious and one not so much...can you guess which is which? My grandma reminded us once that at least we don't still prepare blood pudding which was another dish her parents always prepared - good point! the idea of eating thick, congealed blood stuffed into a sausage liner sounds less then appetizing)