Welcome to This is How We Christmas! If you are just reading for the first time, you can find more info on our Thursday in December fun here.
Today I’m hoping you’ll share things your family does to celebrate the Holiday season. Just a reminder: Thursday the 10th will center on how we decorate and Thursday the 17th is when we will get into how we celebrate Christ in our homes and church. Of course Christ should permeate all we do but my family does SO much during the holidays that it seemed logical to break down the categories to make manageable posts.
One of the things I really hope to accomplish through this Blog Party is to give one another fresh celebration ideas. There may be those of you who have suffered loss this year and are looking for a new normal. There may be yet others who have found themselves in a holiday rut and need a jolt to the routine. You may be like me and are just always on the prowl for something fun to do with the kids. Whatever your reason for being here, I have no doubt you’ll find it!
Maybe you are unsure of what I mean by Quirky Family Traditions? How about I give you a rundown of ours to get the ball rolling.
1. The Santa Thing: As I stated in the Introductory post, this isn’t a forum for the Santa debate. As for me and my house, we have always had fun with Santa while keeping him way down the food chain in priority during the season. With that said, this is probably the most lame part of our tradition because we’ve never put much energy into it. My boys were always horrified of him in the stores so we’ve never rushed to the mall to have our photos taken. What about you? Santa photos or no?
We have a Santa snack: We always bake cookies and leave some on his special Santa Plate along with a glass bottled Coke because everyone knows that Santa would rather have Coke than milk any day. I personally think he would prefer Diet Dr. Pepper but that leaves less for me so Coke it is.
This is the first year all three of my boys no longer believe in Claus. My oldest was actually last to give in. In fact, when Luke gave him The Talk after his 12th birthday, he was still innocent to the truth. I asked Luke when he was going to tell him about Santa since he already knew about S**. Luke reasoned that was too much for a boy to take in on one day so in the interest of not traumatizing him further, we left it alone. He’s still never officially spoken the words that he doesn’t buy it any more but I’m pretty certain it’s because he’s protecting us.
As for Christmas day gift-giving, we slow things down a bit by making the kids open one gift at a time and appreciate it for just a moment before they tear into the next thing. The kids act like they hate it but we really don’t care. So, Merry Christmas or whatever.
2. Christmas Eve Day:
This is the day that is frivolous, agendaless entertainment. A few years back, we began a new ritual of having breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then taking the kids to a movie. I alluded to it before but it is probably my most favorite day of the season. It is completely stress-free and mindless and we absolutely love it. Like any tradition, it’s one of those things that doesn’t seem to mean a whole lot but it’s slice-of-life special to me. It’s so cool that my kids will always remember that on Christmas Eve, it was Cracker Barrel and the movies and the popcorn and the Milk Duds in the cushy Rave theater. If the Lord tarries, they may just take their kids too.
I hope I am invited. (Of course, invitations are just a formality. I”M GOING, bless my future SIL and DIL’s hearts.)
I just made myself cry.
3. The Food and Parties and Games:
Food is where I’m a failure. I’m not one of those girls who bakes tins full of homemade goodies. Most of my cooking centers around the mostly random parties we attend. This year, we are having one of our family Christmases at my house and I’m so excited about looking for some great recipes to try. Will y’all be posting your own food and party ideas? I’m hoping so! I do have a few classic standbys. One is Strawberry Pretzel. The crust is a little tricky but if you follow the directions in the recipe it should turn out great.
Ashamedly, we aren’t a huge game-playing family. However, last year my BIL and Sister made a biblical version of Jeopardy. (They don’t know it yet but they are officially in charge of recreation again this year.) It was so incredibly fun and yet I have to embarassingly admit that Luke and I stunk it up. You would think we had never cracked open a Bible. Of course to our credit, the BIL can come up with some obscure references. Do y’all do family games? Which are your favorite?
We attend many parties every season but none aside from family get togethers that would be considered tradition. This year is the first since we’ve moved to Alabama that I’ve played hostess to a family soiree. What about you? Do you have a fun party you host? Attend a gathering that you particularly love? A certain group of people who you make a point to see every year? Details, people! I need to be inspired to be better at opening my home without stressing completely out.
Okay, so that’s enough about me. I want to know How You Christmas!
We have prizes!
My friend Jeanne Winters responded for my desperate plea for a giveaway for you and has graciously offered a choice of her book Inspirational Home or a vintage-styled art print of your choice from her Etsy shop. In case y’all don’t know Jeanne, she has created a line of gift items she developed with DaySpring that are featured in Hallmark stores. If you are like me and need decorating ideas, you should really check out her blog. Yes, she’s fabulous. Thanks for the sweeeet gift, Jeanne!
If you would like to participate in the fun, link to your specific post (not your homepage). The Linky will be open until next Wednesday. I will select the winner by random number generator and will announce it next Thursday with the How We Decorate Edition. I can’t wait to visit you!