Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Traditions and Family

A big part of what makes Christmas special to me is all the traditions that we have done over the years, some no one can remember how or why we started them, it's just what we do and it makes the holidays very special. 
One of those traditions is going Christmas shopping with my Mom and sisters. We haven't done it for a couple of years and I really wanted to make it work since we would all be home together again. We headed out bright and early on the 27th, planning to hit some Boxing Day sales and go out for brunch. Some of my favorite purchases from the day was at our first stop, the Salvation Army, where their books were half price. I got several books for literally pennies. It made me happy. We shopped and browsed and then finally decided to get something to eat. We tend to get distracted when we're all out together and forget to stop and eat. But stop and eat we did and had a wonderful visit over yummy food. We got home tired from being out and about all day but happy with our purchases (we got in on some stellar sales!) and happy to have the day together.

One of those traditions that no one can remember why or how we started it but we've been doing it forever happens on Christmas Eve. We bustle around all day doing prep for the big dinner the next day, wrapping the last few gifts, tidying the house and preparing our special Christmas Eve dinner. Once all the work is done, we gather around the table for a tasty ham, potato and egg puff pastry concoction. We don't linger too long over dinner before heading to the living room where we each get to open one gift. This year, we all got pajamas. From the littlest to the biggest. Kilmeny wasn't too sure about the opening the present part but once she saw her new pink jammies, she had to try them on. Or at least give it her best shot.   

Being that we were in yet another different house and different time zone, Kilmeny took awhile to get accustomed to sleeping properly and so Christmas morning found the two of us down by the tree very early. After I woke up a bit, I realized what a special moment this was and grabbed the camera. Kilmeny padded over to the presents and just felt them. I curled up on the couch, watched the sun rise and enjoyed just being quiet and reflective. It is now one of my favorite memories from this Christmas. 
Several hours (and a short nap for Kilmeny and I later), we joined the whole family in the living room, pajama clad and cozy while Dad read the Christmas story. We ate our oranges and cradled hot cups of cocoa. And then fun of stockings began. In our family, everyone stuffs everyone's stockings which results in all sorts of fun Christmas morning as we discover little treasures and candy and holler thank-yous across the room. Kilmeny was absolutely thrilled with her little purse that one of my brothers crocheted for her.

I loved watching everyone's faces and reactions as they opened gifts that had been bought thoughtfully with each person in mind. We open one gift at a time, starting with the youngest so we can all ooh and ahh over each gift. Kilmeny's library was tripled between Christmas and her birthday (on the 28th) which thrilled me to no end. I've made no secret of the fact that I love children's books and have talked for a long time about building my children's library. So it was great fun to open all the new books.

Kilmeny has an adorable cousin. His name is Ian. He is four months old and we got to meet him for the first time at Christmas. That was very special. We were home for a week which provided lots of time for visiting, playing games, catching up and just hanging out. It was so refreshing, even getting sick was okay since Mom was there to doctor us up.
On our last full day all together, we decided to take a day trip and go shopping in the States. It was a crazy, fun, long day and something I've wanted to do with Jared for a long time. My family typically goes down to the States (since they live five minutes from the border) every few months and when I was at home, we would go down for a shopping trip once a year to take advantage of the sales and the strong Canadian dollar. I was excited that it worked out to introduce Jared to another one of my family's traditions and make some new memories together. 

So, tell me, what are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? Since it's a couple weeks past Christmas and it's fun to remember and since I'm catching up on my blog. =) 


  1. aww, love this post! Ian looks like a Casson! And how cute that your brothers crocheted a purse for Kilmeny :-) Love the picture of all the girls!!

    One Christmas tradition is Daddy's cheese ball--yuuum!! We also open one gift at a time, starting from the youngest. With pictures and all the oohing and ahhing, it takes a couple hours to open all the gifts!

  2. When I was a kid, we always went to the candlelit service at the church on Christmas Eve and then we went driving around to look at Christmas lights. We'd listen to Christmas music on the radio and come home to a fancy spread of cheeses and cracker, meats and olives etc.
    I always felt so grown up and we were allowed to stay up late. It was great.
    The next morning we did presents one at a time so it was always drawn out and lovely.

    ``aaah christmas. I miss you already



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