Thursday, December 2, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2


I'm excited to link up with Cait again today!

Christmas Traditions

The weekend before Christmas has always been spent with my Mom's side of the family and just recently started spending it with my Dad's father's side. We don't do presents on these two sides, only Grandparents, and the time is spent together eating and playing games.

My Dad and his wife are wanting to start a Christmas Eve tradition where the 6 of us get together and have a big meal, open presents and take a family photo in front of the tree. This will be our 4th year so I guess it counts.

 (Me, Chad, Clay, Cristen, Charm, Dad)

Christmas Day is hectic! We usually go over to my Mom's house first for a lunch with her and my grandparents. Santa fills our stockings and we open presents then eat lunch. And even though we don't go to their house anymore and are too big for Santa - my Meme and GrandGrand still put out a sign that says, "Santa Stop Here". They originally did this because we had to make sure Santa knew where we were. haha

(Cristen, Mom, Me)

After lunch, we go to my Dad's house to celebrate with his Mom's side of the family. The crazy tradition with this side of the family is having oyster stew at 10 in the morning. Yuck! I eat the broth with LOTS of oyster crackers. As my Uncle Frank says, in his loud, bellowing voice "You're not a Binford if you don't eat oyster stew on Christmas". We also draw names on Thanksgiving for the gift exchange. And we fill out the same wish list every year.

 (Me, Michelle, Cristen, Mamaw)

We meet with my husband's family at a different time each year. With 2 nurses and a physical therapist, there's no way to plan it the same day every year. This year we're meeting before Christmas. We don't really have any traditions beside doing a Dirty Santa gift exchange - we each buy a $50 gift for someone of the same gender and play the Dirty Santa gift game, have you heard of it? We usually play youngest to oldest, so the older members of the family have a chance to 'steal' from the younger ones. So the youngest chooses a gift - they open it and show it to everyone. The next person can either choose a gift or steal from someone (you can only steal gifts from people of your gender and a gift can only be stolen once). It's funny because the guys really get into it - their brothers - and the girls don't really steal anything.

My husband and I haven't really started any of our own traditions, but here are some of the things we do:
  • Decorate the house after Thanksgiving
  • Open our presents early - I can never keep a secret and Chad always pesters me to know what he's getting
  • Sending out photo cards
  • We'll hopefully start up our tradition of looking at Christmas light with ours best friends Justin and Caitlin (hint hint)
  • Angel Tree Child 
  • Candle light service at our church
We can't wait to start even more family traditions once we have children (or maybe even before!):
  • I love the idea of baking Jesus a birthday cake  (my sister-in-law and I have already talked about that. Maybe I'll do it this year!) Or doing anything that would celebrate the birth of our Savior.
  • Leaving cookies out for Santa (We did this when I was little)
  • My great-grand mother is in an Assisted Living facility literally 2 houses down from where we live and I think it would be nice to go visit and sing Christmas Carols. 
  • Stay at home Christmas morning - this will be hard to do but I don't want my children to be pulled in to the craziness that is my family's holidays. I don't want them to be stressed like I have been for so many years. I would love to be able to go to ONE place on Christmas day instead of running around like we usually do.
So that about sums it up. Sometimes it's hard to remember what Christmas is really about and I hope we will add some traditions to our list to help us remember that.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

I'm linking up with Cait today. Join in if you can!

What does Christmas mean to you?

First and foremost, it represents the Birth of my Savior Jesus Christ. It represents the love our God has for us, because He sent His ONLY Son to this Earth to save us from our sins. Think about that, He sacrificed His Son for US! It just amazes me to know that someone loves us that much!

Honestly, I enjoy the holidays but with my parents divorced and my dads parents divorced, holidays have always been very stressful. I am looking forward to having children so we can start our own traditions and hopefully focus more on what Christmas is all about. (if you've already forgotten read the first paragraph!)