Last week I got caught up in Christmas tradition memories and never got around to listing a few of my favorite traditions – new and old. So without further ado…
Ten of my favorite Christmas traditions.1. Receiving mail from Santa. Elliot just received a letter from Santa and was mightily impressed. Over the years I have penned the letters sent to my grandchildren (and now my great grandchild). They were and are too young to think of looking at the postmark. If you want a North Pole postmark, there are a few good choices. Visit the United States Postal Service website here for instructions. Or you can purchase a letter from Santa and have it mailed from the North Pole. Visit Santa’s Official North Pole Mail website here.
2. Christmas books. I love Christmas themed books – for adults and children. When my children were young, I would gather the Christmas books into a basket and we would read one every night. I did this with my Granddaughter, and recently introduced this tradition to my Great-grandson. His current favorite is Little Blue Truck’s Christmas.
3. Our Annual Ornament Exchange Party. I have hosted this party for quite a few years now. We started out with a hand few of guests, then graduated to at least 30. Over the years, we have seen a few pass on, babies being born, children graduating. It’s been a wonderful way to get together and keep the families together, and everyone goes home with a new ornament.4. Another Ornament tradition. Buying an ornament for each child every Christmas. I love this tradition as when the children grow up and go out on their own, they will have a box of Christmas memories to hang on their own tree. From there they can build new traditions and make new memories. Ornaments make great gifts, too (especially for those “hard to buy for” family members).
5. New Pajamas. This is one of my favorite memories/traditions. When my siblings and I were young, and my Mom was bathing us, our doorbell would ring and Dad would go answer. Santa’s Elf would deliver to each of us new pajamas. My folks carried on this tradition for quite some time and it was years later that we learned it was our neighbor who would ring our doorbell and deliver the gifts. This is one tradition I have kept and loved. I am looking forward to Elliot’s reaction when one of Santa’s Elve’s delivers new p.j.s to him.
6. Baking Christmas Cookies. This time honored tradition is an absolute favorite. While my sister made the best chocolate chip cookies, my forte is cut out cookies – frosted. I have a lovely collection of cookies cutters and a recipe for sugar cookies that was given to me when I lived below my parents with my two little boys – we be talking a long time ago. The children love helping from the cutting out to frosting and decorating with sprinkles. And we all love to eat them!
7. Another favorite tradition – setting out a plate of cookies and milk for Santa. The thrill of waking Christmas morning to find only crumbs and an empty glass. Santa was here!!! In later years, a carrot was added for the reindeer.
8. Sending Christmas cards. I remember growing up, my Mom would mail out upwards of 200 Christmas cards each year. The cards we received, she would tape around the living room door and on the outside of the coat closet. The cards would eventually be hung down the living room walls, there were so many!!!! Nowadays, people just don’t send cards. I don’t understand this. Surely, it’s worth the cost of a postage stamp (under 50 cents) to send holiday wishes and messages of good tidings through the new year. I send a sheer fraction of what my Mom would send, and although we get very few back, this is a tradition I am not giving up on.
9. A walk or drive through the neighborhood to admire Christmas lights. Elliot is so enjoying evening drives to look at decorated and brightly lit homes. He especially likes the “rainbow” lights (assorted colors) while K and I especially admire the homes with one lit candle in each window and big, green wreaths hanging on the doors. So pretty!