I am definitely a Christmas person. I am lovingly referred to as “The Christmas Nazi,” by family and friends. Come hell or high water, you WILL have a merry Christmas!
Anyway, a big thing about Christmas for me is tradition, specifically having family Christmas traditions. I think they’re important. They are something we share as a family and hopefully add to our enjoyment of this season. I’m sharing some of our family traditions because I think they’re fun and maybe I can inspire some of you. Now, granted, these aren’t especially grand traditions, but you know what they say about life, it’s the little things that count.
It seems every year there is yet another slew of Christmas specials on, some better than others. Frankly, in my opinion, most of the new ones don’t hold a candle to the classics. In our house, there are three that are a staple of our Christmas viewing: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original 1966 animated version), and Mickey’s Christmas Carol. We watch them together every year. As the girls get older, I’ll probably start adding one of the live-action versions of A Christmas Carol (the 1951 version with Alastair Sim is the one I watched with my mom growing up), but for now we’ll stick to animation. Still, one of my favorite things to do during Christmas time is sit on the couch with my girls and watch one of these shows. Big Bit is becoming especially fond of Charlie Brown.
The “Santa” Paper
I know not everyone does the whole Santa thing, but we do. This is a tradition started by my mom and which I am continuing because I think it’s pretty fun. Now keep in mind, if you want to do something like this yourself, it takes some forethought and a rather large upfront purchase of wrapping paper. In our house, there is special wrapping paper that only Santa uses. He uses the same paper every year and it is only seen on Christmas morning. Obviously, in order to do something like this, you need to find a wrapping paper you like and enough to last you however many years you will do Santa presents times the number of kids you have. Also, the Santa paper needs to be stored separately from your regular wrapping paper. It wouldn’t do for someone to inadvertently discover it. I was always excited to see the presents wrapped in the special Santa paper as a child, and I hope my girls enjoy it, too.
The Yearly Ornament
This is a tradition I’ve started in our family. Every year I buy the girls one ornament each to go on our tree. I try to buy them one that reflects who they are for that particular year, whether it’s an ornament based on a favorite character or movie, or some other interest which they developed that year. This year Big Bit received a pink Superman “S,” since she loves superheroes and her favorite color is pink. Little Bit received an Elvis Blue Hawaii ornament. Why Elvis? Well this year one of her favorite movies to watch was Lilo and Stitch and a big part of that was because she loved the music, which, if you haven’t seen the movie, is very heavy on Elvis songs. So rather than get her a Lilo and Stitch ornament, which given that the movie is ten years old makes finding such an item a little more difficult, I got her Elvis. I also think it’ll make for a fun story when she’s older. Niblet, being only a few months old, can’t really be said to have any interests outside of eating, sleeping, and pooping (in various orders), so she got the traditional “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament. Next year, hopefully, she’ll get something a little more interesting.
My goal with this tradition is that the ornaments will tell some of the story of who the girls were as they were growing up. Each year a new ornament, trying to record part of what made them them that year. Eventually, each girl will get to take her ornaments as she establishes her own household. I’m hoping each girl will end up with a starting set of at least 20. I try to keep each one in the original packaging, labeled with each girl’s name and the year it was purchased. I realize that right now, this tradition is more for me than for them, but I hope as they grow older they can appreciate the thought behind it.
There you have it, some of the traditions that make it Christmas for us here in our house. Like I said, nothing grandiose, but we enjoy them. Merry Christmas!
Oh and I know I didn’t mention it specifically, but watching the yearly Doctor Who Christmas Special goes without saying. See if you can spot the TARDIS on our tree!