Merry (Belated) Christmas Everyone! Did you have a good weekend? I was able to spend my long weekend at home in Jersey with family and friends.
One of the things that makes Christmas so special in my family is the traditions we have. It makes coming home each year fun, and I enjoy the nostalgia of the traditions.
I thought I’d share a few of my family’s traditions with you!
One of my favorite parts of Christmas is seeing my family’s stockings all hung up on the mantle.
I’ve had the same stocking since I was a little girl, and it’s extra special because it was hand-made by my grandmother.
I think it is so cute! It makes me smile every time I see it. Everyone else in my immediate family has one too, made by my grandmom. When the stockings became too much for my grandmother to make, my mom took over this tradition. She now creates personalized stockings (no kit!!) for friends and family. She recently made one for my cousin’s daughter:
Another Christmas tradition is mom’s moving doll collection. She sets up a little display inside the house of with these moving dolls. Some might think they are a bit creepy, but to me, they mean Christmas!
Every Christmas eve for as long as I can remember we have a lasagna dinner. My mom makes her traditional meat and cheese lasagna:
She pairs it with crispy, buttery garlic bread. I could eat 10 pieces of this stuff!
And for our veggie, she made her Broccoli Cheese Bake:
For the past several years at least, we’ve been going to a Christmas Eve service at a nearby church. The lights are turned down low, and the small church is decorated beautifully.
Yes, that is as wide as the building is. It’s tiny!
In the recent past, I feel like I haven’t really gotten into the spirit of the season until I’ve attended this service. Something about being surrounded by my actual family and church family, singing Christmas songs, and hearing the Christmas story in this quaint space puts me in the right frame of mind. I find the candle light service so peaceful, a nice break from the busyness of the holidays.
So this year was a little different, since Christmas was on a Sunday and we went to church, but I thought it would be fun to tell you the way Christmas morning usually goes in my house.
Christmas morning in my house never started at 7am (or earlier) with my brother and I running down the steps and tearing into the presents under the tree. No sir. Mom and dad had some pre-present opening requirements for us.
First, we had to make our beds. Chores on Christmas morning? UGH.
Then, we always had to clean up (shower/bath, brush our teeth, get out of our PJs and into real clothes, yknow, like it wasn’t CHRISTMAS MORNING or anything!!)
Then, we sat down for breakfast together. When I was a kid, I’m pretty sure we ate the fastest we’d ever eaten in our lives on Christmas morning.
Then, we got to run over to the tree and attack the presents. Just kidding, not yet!
When my grandfather was alive, we’d call him and invite him over to watch us open presents (and of course get his too!) He lived less than 10 minutes away, but as a kid, those 10 minutes felt like forever!
When Pop Pop arrived, we all moved to the living room. Mom got her camera and a notepad to take notes of who got what so we could write Thank Yous later. Then, my brother and I FINALLY got to open presents. We alternated opening one gift at a time, and then we’d pose for a picture with our new gift.
This year, we didn’t follow all of those steps, but I did make my bed, and my mom took a few shots of us posing with some special gifts.
Of course, there’s always the traditional Christmas dinner. Basically, mom does Thanksgiving Part 2. This year, we had some friends over to join us for dinner. Mom didn’t hold back, making a tremendous meal with all the fixins.
I loaded my plate up with a little bit of everything. Mmm so good! After taking a walk around the block, we ate some dessert of Christmas cookies and Pumpkin pie. Stuffed to the gills!
My Christmas night ended with yet one other tradition, a trip over to my friend Gina’s house. She and I grew up together, only a few blocks apart. We’ve been best friends forever, and I’m so glad I was able to stop in last night:-)
I hope you all were able to spend time with friends and family this weekend! Now, time to get back into the swing of things…
Question of the day: What are some of your Christmas/Holiday traditions?