Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Traditions

It's that time of year: Christmas-time; when we celebrate the season with family traditions. Don't you love it? It seems like Jeff and I are always trying to create "new" traditions (is there such a thing as a new tradition?) that not only center around the Savior as the reason for the season, but that also incorporate ideas from both Jeff's family (the Moss/Pearce's) and mine (the Larson's) as we grew up. These ideas change and evolve over the years as our family grows. This year we decided to add the "24 Christmas Stories" tradition to our celebrations as we count down the days to Christmas. Thanks, in part to my mom who gave us this great jar to help us keep track. Each morning when Corbin gets up we come to the jar and change the number and then eat one of the granola bars inside. Corbin reminds me every day that when there are no more "nola bars" then it will be Christmas! He's now enjoying (or tolerating) the idea of waiting...
As a part of this countdown we also have 24 Christmas stories (or movies) wrapped under the tree. When Jeff gets home from work each night we all sit by the Christmas tree and Corbin gets to open 1 present/story to read for the evening.
It's great practice for the real deal. He's learning how to tear through that paper like nothing now.
... and then smile that cheesy grin for the camera as he says thanks. We then read or watch the Christmas story. It's a wonderful way to infuse the real meaning of Christmas into the holiday.
Since I tutor at my mom's late into the evening twice a week we sometimes have to read stories with grandpa, but Corbin doesn't mind and we're pretty sure grandpa doesn't either. (Don't let Corbin's facial expression fool you, he enjoyed the story time. It's the camera that either solicits the cheesiness or stubbornness.)
Meanwhile, we continue to decorate our home with messages that Jesus is the reason for the season and not only the Santa and present-coveting that is so highly commercialized in our society.Corbin loves to admire these decorations just as much as he likes to watch Polar Express and Frosty the Snowman. (I've had to reprimand him from climbing up on the piano and stealing the baby Jesus to walk him around the house.) And we enjoy watching him more than anything.
In the coming weeks we will make cookies and treats for our friends, attend holiday parties with family and friends, see the temple Christmas lights, open new pajamas on Christmas Eve, re-enact the nativity, and snuggle with cider (wassail), and egg nog next to our tree. But, we are curious-- what are some of your favorite family Christmas traditions?


Rachel Mae said...

I love that idea of the 24 stories. We'll have to do something like that when Zoe gets a bit older.

The one tradition Josh and I have done without kids so far is buy an ornament every year for each of us. We plan to get Zoe one this year too. We also get ornaments when we go on trips to places. And we always decorate our eclectic Christmas tree together--commenting on the stories associated with each ornament (some of which are from our childhoods).

Alicia States said...

I love the idea of Santa Worshiping baby Jesus. I saw that when we went looking at lights last night. I love, love LOVE it! That is such a precious little statue! We don't really have any traditions... I try to make cheese balls (when I have my own kitchen/space).

Anonymous said...

This year I have decided that I've been following a tradition that really didn't start as a tradition, but I do it every year. I go to my daughters houses and help them decorate their homes. It usually is a full days task, but with the Christmas music on and alot of reminiscing about when they were young we have a great bonding time. I only wish I could do this with my children who live far away. I'll try to make it up some how.

Christensen's said...

What great traditions! I love the holidays for that reason as well as knowing the true meaning of Christmas. Can't wait to see you guys in 19 days, in case Jeff didn't know.

Nelly said...

Fun traditions! I love your little statue of Santa w/ baby Jesus. My mother in law has one and I've always wanted one. You'll have to tell me where you got it! ;)