Twenty years ago I married my husband (wow that’s a long time ago). We combined our Christmas “traditions” and came up with a few of our own. I grew up in a house full of brothers and sisters and parents who were a generation ahead of my husbands mom. (to give an example, my oldest brother is only a few years younger than my husbands mom, and my husbands grandma is the same age as my parents).
When I was growing up we went to the Candlelight service every Christmas eve, came home and hung our stockings, read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and we woke up early Christmas morning and sat on the stairs by age, youngest at the bottom and oldest at the top, and yes I was the youngest and the first to see Christmas. Our Dad would be in the Living Room, behind louvred doors with the motion picture camera recording and the light blaring waiting for our excited little faces to come around the corner and into the room to see the joys that Santa left. BUT, we were only allowed to open our stockings. Then we all went into the kitchen to eat a delicious Christmas breakfast, and only when we had all cleaned off our dishes did we get to go back into the living room to gather and open our gifts. But WAIT it doesn’t stop there, we opened our gifts by age, youngest to oldest, reading the names from the tags and watching as everyone else opened their gifts and expressed their appreciation and love for the gift inside the now discarded wrapping paper. I had 5 siblings and both of my parents so we had eight people to cycle through! We were never finished with our gifts until atleast 2:00 or 3:00. The phone would have rung atleast 4 or 5 times with Christmas wishes from various Aunts and Uncles and as the siblings grew up and moved away they too would call. Oh! and Santa’s gifts were wrapped and mixed amongst the various presents under the tree.
Now my husband came from a divorced parent household with only 2 brothers. I guess there weren’t too many Christmas traditions or mine were so strong that I just barreled on ahead with the way I thought they should be. (I didn’t know there were different ways to do Christmas!). His Christmases were rushed, everyone opened their gifts all at once not knowing who got what or from whom and you didn’t get to see someone open the gift that you painstakingly purchased for them and them alone, and still do. Santa left his gifts out in the open, unwrapped…. Boy that was something new to me. And no church, unless they were with his grandparents (I am guessing that they went with Grandma and Grandpa).
It took my husband quite a few years to talk me into letting Santa do that in our household. But I did give in and now we do Christmas MY way and his “Santa” way. Call me stubborn, call me a traditionalist, call me pigheaded, I don’t know, but I couldn’t imagine teaching our children the blessings that Christmas teaches us if we fly through it.
And in the end, my husband LOVES my traditions and our slight mix of traditions work very well and we all remember the “meaning of the season”, CHRISTmas, the gift that never stops giving.
From all of us we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.!
Mom of 5 gifts from my Heavenly Father
and 5 blessings in Heaven with the Heavenly Father