It’s a very important thing, creating Christmas traditions for your children. I have wonderful memories of Christmas Eve and morning from when I was a kid.
We would always go to church at 11:00 on Christmas Eve, my father and I sang in the choir and I’ll never forget the sight of 800 people rising when we sang Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”. We always went straight to bed when we got home because my littlest brother would invariably wake us all up before 6:00am (he’s 28 years old now and still does it!). His job was to go and get our stockings and deposit them at the end of our beds. He always tried to be quiet but never really succeeded so sooner rather than later we were up and ready to go!
It didn’t take long for us to learn to hit the button on the coffee machine before we went anywhere near Mom & Dad but as soon as the coffee was ready the four of us would troop into the big bedroom with stockings for the whole family and coffee for the poor adults who couldn’t survive without it (I never used to understand that but I sure do now!)
Now it was time for stockings, we would open them up one at a time from youngest to oldest which left me going last. With four kids my mom had nailed the art of buying the same stocking stuffers for each kid but in different colours so by the time I got to my stocking I was 90% aware of what I would pull out of it. I think my mother was ecstatic when the Teeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were so popular, four Turtles, four kids!
We kept this tradition up even after some of us had moved out of the house. We would go back home for the night just so we could wake up together on Christmas morning. I’ll never forget the first time that my husband had Christmas with us. it was probably five years before we married, he was still trying to get used to my crazy family and I tell him that we have to go and sit on my parent’s bed! He just looked at me like, “What!!!
Over the years the traditions have evolved, it used to be church and coffee, now it’s more like canapés and mimosas (oh, we forgot to get orange juice? So sad, we’ll have to live without it!)
Now that I’m on the coffee side of the whole thing I need to start thinking about what I would like for my kids to really look forward to about Christmas. At this point they’re still too young to know anything about Santa Claus other than the fact that he’s a big guy who wears red.
I would like to be able to just let our traditions develop as we go, using the things that work for us from my childhood and adding new bits that will make my boys come back home for Christmas every year (they won’t live at home forever says my hopeful inner voice)
I think that I’ll start by showing them where the coffee maker button is!