Traditions are a big deal in my family. We have the typical traditions of the tree and the decorations and the gifts, but we also have some unconventional traditions thrown in there for good measure.
Christmas Adam: each year we do something different for the night before Christmas Eve (get it - Christmas ADAM?) This year we went with my folks to see the Christmas light display at the local university (well, 60-ish miles away IS local here!) then to eat. It's a walk-through display with lots and LOTS to see. The very best part was hearing the kids' excitement with every display. They of course had their favorites, and the hubbs and I had ours.
Christmas Eve Smorgasbord: No, we are not Danish, this is just something fun we do. Each year we have a different theme, with similar ingredients. One year we had a fish fry, one year we had a crawfish boil, one year shrimp and lamb chops (meat pops as my minecraft inundated kids call them . . .). They always involve seafood - kind of our answer to the Italian tradition of the Feast of Seven Fishes.
Gifts of the Magi: Each year our children get three gifts from us (one from Santa!) - these three are to remind them of the gifts given to Christ by the kings when they came to see and worship him. They are usually fairly small gifts, but fun ones that the kids wanted.
We've also started some new traditions this year:
The Elf on a Shelf: No, we didn't buy one from the store. We actually HAD an elf that my husband got from his family some time ago. Who knew that all we needed to do to give him elf magic was to name him and sprinkle him with some cinnamon? E named him Buddy after Will Farrell's character in Elf. Buddy's gotten into a bit of mischief this year - we'll have to see what he gets into next year!
The Christmas Pickle: As it turns out, this is a REAL tradition! My husband is part German, so we get into the German traditions a LOT. This is one that we just found out about. The kids search for the pickle on the tree and the first one to find it gets a "special" gift as a prize! Not sure how this one is going to go with our kids . . . We may have to nix it next year!
And of course there are the traditions that I always WANT to do, but never get around to like:
Christmas Cards: I think I have FOUR boxes of these suckers. I ALWAYS buy them, and NEVER send them!! I don't know if it's laziness or what, but I haven't sent a Christmas card in . . . well . . . Okay a LONG time!! All I can say is thank God for Facebook . . .
Christmas Cookies: I always want to bake, bake, bake the holiday season, but I NEVER have time to do it with all of the running around! So we rarely have Christmas cookies. Not sure what I'm leaving for Santa this year. Maybe rice cakes and a protein shake . . ?
The Gingerbread House: HahahahahahahahahaHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhahahahahahahahahahahaaa! Sorry. Got a bit carried away. Yeah. The Gingerbread House. Every year I say "we're going to do it this year!" and . . . nope. It's a laugh for sure.
Christmas lights: I want lights on the house so bad, but they never happen. Maybe one day . . . (hint, hint, hubby!)
So that's what our Christmas Traditions look like this year. What traditions do you and your family share?