Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's Tradition


12/09/12 Traditions
Our traditions have changed dramatically.  In 2007, I would have written:
On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, my Mom, my sister Cathy, Cathy's children, and my own, get together at my house for a Christmas luncheon.  Though this year it will be Brunch.  We give each other gifts, play games and just have a relaxing afternoon.  My children and their families spend the evening with their Dad's family.  On Christmas morning, Amanda, Kayla and I open presents and then we begin Christmas dinner preparations.  The guest list includes Joey, Tera and Cammi, Jayme and Ben.  Then they all go to their respective spouses' family's homes, and hmmmmm, I relax in the quiet of my home. 
Christmas preparations truly get underway the weekend following Thanksgiving.  That's when we put up the tree and begin decorating.  In preparing for Christmas, orange and clove pomanders are made, along with Cinnamon Applesauce Ornament Swags.  Dozens of cookies are made.  Christmas cards are sent.  All of our Christmas videos/DVD's will be gathered together and watched throughout the Season, especially "A Christmas Story" and "It's A Wonderful Life". The second Sunday of December we host our annual Ornament Exchange Luncheon.  We have breakfast or lunch with Santa at the Zoo or Heinz; visit the Miniature Railroad Display in all its holiday finery; and catch the Holiday Magic Laser Show at the Buhl Digital Dome.  Kayla and I will catch a Christmas movie or two and we'll attend the 11:00 p.m. Candle Light Service at Church on Christmas Eve.  Our stockings will be hung.  "Santa" will ring our doorbell at the time Kayla is getting a bath and drop off a new pair of p.j.'s.  (This tradition was begun by my Mom when we were very young.  Our neighbor plays "Santa".)  I will wake up extra early to put on Orange Rolls and coffee and to take pictures of the tree and presents.  Believe it or not, between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m., Amanda and I can't take it anymore and we go wake Kayla up.  That child has never gotten up way early.  A far cry from me and my siblings; one year we nagged my parents at 3:00 in the morning to let us open our gifts!

In 2010, I would have written;
This year traditions change - drastically.  Jayme and Ben are in a home of their own and now it is just me in this big, rambling house.  My sweet sister has gone to live with our Lord and her non-presence will be felt heavily.  We have a new addition to the family - Jacob.  This year, since we have Christmas Eve off, I am having a lunch for the whole family, good food, comfort, lots of presents! Christmas Day this year, I plan to spend quietly with my Mom and Dad, Melissa and Mike.

This year . . .
This year, on Christmas Eve, I am again having a lunch for the whole family. Good food, good company, lots of presents! Christmas Day I will visit my parents and then I plan to spend the rest of the day at home as I will be back to work the next day.
Although I am late with the decorating this year, Kayla and I have most of the gift wrapping complete.  Mom and I have most of the downstairs decorating complete.  Kayla and I did kick off the season by staying in town on November 16 for Light Up Night (I even bought a gift, checked it off my list).  I am still undecided about putting up a tree this year.  I’m thinking of decorating with all my treasured ornaments and lights. I just don’t know.  We are hosting our annual Ornament Exchange again this year.  The invitations have been sent and the menu finalized. As I do every year, I’ve gathered all the Christmas movies, but still need to pull the Christmas themed books from their shelves and stack them in baskets for gatherings with the kiddies.

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