Growing up, Christmas morning could be considered chaotic ( and that is putting it mildly), we all piled into Mom and Dad’s bedroom to open our Christmas Socks that Santa always left in their room.. There we were 4 little girls ( who became teens and then young adults and never wanting to give up this tradition, socks needed to be opened in their bedroom), a Siberian husky and mom and dad all crowded onto the double bed tearing into socks and having a great time. No-one really paying attention to anyone but at the same time monitoring what everyone else was getting, self absorbed yet not really. ( Nothing happened until the coffee pot was ready though).
I should back up a little bit, mom always put the turkey in the oven just before she went to bed, so the smell of turkey wafting through the house always woke us or actually me up. I was that kid, the eldest but the one always the most excited so I would wake up at 3 or 4 and overwhelmed with the excitment of what might await me under the tree so whats a girl to do… wake your baby sister of course and send her in to wake up the “rents”. So the smell of turkey, squeals of 4 little girls and aroma of coffee, that was how our mornings would start. Grandparents would be called and as soon as they arrived ( from a block over) we would tear into the living room, presents, followed by gorging on chocolate, followed by naps because we had been up for many hours already, Christmas Dinner was around 3:00 and we would proceed to stuff ourselves, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, squash, cranberries……
so imagine my surprise with my new blended family when I was told no presents get opened until we have eaten breakfast, what the heck, breakfast before presents… that was unheard of. I screamed, I cried, I begged but nothing was changing his mind. BREAKFAST, good lord, but I have to tell you the rationale was sound all sorts of common sense points about breakfast and nutrition and not needing sugar highs first thing…. and he had two children who were used to this tradition, so if a 12 and 14 year old were ok with breakfast why was I, a 40+ year old being such a baby. Well I was a baby because it was a tradition, one that I had held on to for 40+ years and one that always reminded me of all the happy memories that had occurred over the years, We do have a tendency to hold onto routines and traditions not because they are the best necessarily but because of what they represent to us.
Our new tradition is Christmas Socks, then breakfast, then presents and guess what I still have a blast on Christmas morning and I have a lot more happy memories based around new traditions.
This year will be our first year with just the two of us and we are already starting to establish our own new traditions for how we will enjoy Christmas Day.
The only tradition that has remained the same for both of us is Christmas Eve, Church Service, quick visit to friends and then home to toast the Day.
Is there a tradition that you hold near and dear, that one thing that always springs to mind when you think Christmas, no matter how big or small the tradition may be, it is that which reminds us of home and family and all that this season is meant to represent.