Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Traditions....

what are your Christmas Traditions?

I remember growing up that my dad would always go behind our house in Crozet and chop down a pine Christmas tree-it had to be the biggest one or my dad wasn't happy. He would drag the tree all by himself and spend all day long trying to figure out how to get the tree into our house. He would some how manage to get it in and then he would have to use several ropes to secure the tree to the wall because it was so heavy. We would have to use one of those metal ice buckets (the big round ones to set the tree in because a traditional tree stand just wouldn't cut it. Then that evening us kids would decorate the tree. I remember the smell of the pine tree smelling the whole house up like Christmas-it was the best smell. Then my dad would use the trimmings of the tree to make garland for the stairs and wreaths for the door. It was definitely Christmas with this big huge tree in the house. So the tradition has carried on with me with always wanting a "real" tree. Last year in Connecticut instead of just buying the tree from a lot we went to a tree farm with our own saw and searched for the perfect tree! After searching and searching we finally found it. (It was the biggest one in the area of course got that from my dad, Eber wanted one of these little trees but they just wouldn't do) so we chopped it down ourselves and put on top of the van and headed home to have the kids decorate the tree. It was a great memory. This year we decided to go "artificial" this year which I'm a little skeptical about because will it be the same? We just got tired of the mess and I like to decorate early (my house is 90% down now even before Thanksgiving) so I can enjoy the season. We ordered it online and should be arriving in the next day or so. I'll let you know how it goes and most importantly how it looks! (it has to be a large tree!)
Some other traditions that we have are:

-Bake Gingerbread men cookies and decorate them
-buy a new ornament for each child to represent that particular year
-a friend of mine suggested wrapping up all Christmas books and then read one each night in the month of December (so we are starting that one this year) and buy one new Christmas book each year.
-drive around one night and look at lights (we do this quite a bit because I love looking at lights, back here in Hampton VA there is this neighborhood that goes crazy at Christmas with tons of animated decorations, with a sled and usually Santa sits out there for the children. The houses compete with each other it is so funny. They really could be on HGTV Christmas! Then we go out for hot chocolate.
-On Christmas Eve the kids get matching PJ's.....shhhhhhh this is a surprise (ha)
-Since we are close to DC again we go to the Washington DC Temple (where Eber and I got married) and look at the Temple lights which is amazing and they have a live nativity scene and Christmas programs.
-Of course we go and see Santa and take lots of pictures
-This year since we have a baby boy and our family has gotten a little bigger I want to act out the Christmas story with my family
-Last year in cub scouts we took baked goodies to the local volunteer units (firehouse,police station and rescue squad)that was a fun experience for the kids-hope to do that again.
-Since Courtney was two my sister,my mom and sometimes my aunt Janet and others have joined us in going to the Nutcracker. In CT we managed to go to NYC twice to see it-which was amazing I don't think anyone can top that performance, but we also went to Boston last year which was also fun. This year we are going to Richmond since Brady is still so small, our goal is to see the nutcracker in each state so I think we've seen it in just 3 states so we have a while before we reach our goal! This year Eliza who is 4 is going to join us in this tradition for the first time!

These are a few traditions that I can think of. PLEASE share some of your traditions as I always like to add new ones each year!

Enjoy Thanksgiving this week. We have a lot to be thankful for!!!!

Sonia and Gang

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