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The Traditions We Carry.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Traditions We Carry.

Last Christmas, after a day of hustling and bustling {in a snow storm, no less} and getting home with cranky, tired, hungry kids J and I made a decision.

No more crazy, busy Christmas.

You know what I'm talking about, don't you?

Run here, eat here, visit here real quick. Too much.

So this year we're staying home on Saturday.

We didn't take the decision lightly but we knew something had to change.

T and M are always with their mom on Christmas Eve until the evening so we really only have Christmas Day to celebrate as a family and for the past number of years we've spent the day running and running and running.

But this year we're staying home. We'll have a lazy morning opening presents and eating cinnamon rolls. There will be no rush to get ready and out the door.

We'll be able to play the kids new games and read the new books instead of piling them up and saying; "Let's Go!"

I am really looking forward to it.

We celebrated Christmas with J's family on Sunday and while I'm sure it will feel odd to not go there this year, the change was welcomed by my in-laws and we were able to relax and the kids are already able to enjoy their gifts this week.

We'll celebrate with my dad this next weekend when he'll come over and I envision it being fudge-filled and relaxing.

We'll go to church on Christmas Eve and just have Christmas Day to relax. And enjoy.
I love traditions especially around birthdays and holidays, I do. I love that every Christmas Eve we all open up new pajamas before bed. I love eating loaves of fudge like it's going out of style throughout the month of December {and lets be honest, January, too.}. I love watching every last ornament being hung on the tree and talking about who made it and when they made it. I love the excitement the kids have about St. Nicholas Day and the Advent Calendar hung on the wall. {Even on the days someone forgets to put the box up before bed.}
But this change we're making is a good one. I am excited to create a new tradition. I am excited to relax, to enjoy the day as a family. To let the kids try out their new things. To watch a movie. To eat what we want, if we want, and not because we don't want any of the families to feel bad.

I'm excited for us and for our kids to create new traditions on Christmas Day. To make them up as we go. To try things out, cross them off the list if they don't work and do it again if they do.

Last week, I read a status update from author Shauna Niequist that really resonated with me:  If this season feels crowded/frantic/shallow, my choices allowed that to happen. And I can make changes.


What are some of the traditions you've carried and how have they changed?


Blogger Jon, Sara, Tyler, and Sophie said...

We used to go to my Grandma and Grandpa's every year for Christmas Eve. The whole family would go to church and then back to their house for dinner and presents. It was always a late night.

Last year we made a change too.

The year before had been extremely busy, and the evening with cranky kids was NO fun, so we knew we had to do something differently.
Last year we went to church with the family, but after the service headed home (instead of going to grandma's). We came home, changed into jammies, and fondued by candle light. It was awesome. The kids were in bed at a decent time and the night was relaxing. I am SO looking forward to it again this year!

December 21, 2010 at 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that you are doing this Samara!! I whole=heartedly celebrate families that decide just to take it easy on Christmas. That's what my family has done every year and I don't think it will ever change. Mike's family is in Iowa, and we are going to be here for Christmas, so there is really only one choice we have to make as far as going to see family. Makes it real easy!! :) Anyway, even before Mike and I were married, Christmas Day has always been very lazy...we would wake up early, open presents, have breakfast, then do whatever...some people go back to bed, some play with their presents or read the paper; then we would go see family later in the day, but it wasn't until late in the afternoon. It's really great!! I think people get too caught up in the hustle and bustle and completely forget what we are celebrating - JESUS!!! I had a friend remark to me the other day that she wasn't even looking forward to Christmas Eve or Christmas just made me sad. It shouldn't be like that. We've slowly let the meaning of Christmas get away from us until we've run around so much and it's too late to realize it's over! Slowing down and spending time with family and those most important to us...that's what it's all about. I hope you really enjoy your day together and I pray blessings on you and your family! Thank you for the reminders of what life is all about - God bless you Samara!! :)


December 22, 2010 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Way to go S! We made a change this year too - we used to always do Christmas Eve dinner with Nate's parents and grandparents and then get up on Christmas Day, open presents with my parents, go back to Nate's parents and open gifts with them, go to my aunt's house for dinner and still end up back at Nate's grandparents with the entire extended family.

This year, Praise Project, our music group, was asked to sing at Christmas Day mass - so that threw our whole schedule off.

I convinced my in-laws that we need to do everything with them on Christmas Eve - including opening gifts, so that on Christmas Day after mass we can spend the day with my family and not be rushing around. They happily agreed, and as you read in my blog, we're even doing Christmas Eve right at my house and that is making things so much easier. I'm hoping this is a tradition we can continue, it'll be so much easier when and if we ever have kids!

December 22, 2010 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

That is awesome. A few years ago we did the same thing..we stay home on Christmas Eve and wake up Christmas morning at home and enjoy the time as our family. After we play and eat breakfast, we then pack up and go to Ely..we miss church there, and Christmas Eve, but I am so glad we started our own traditions. Way to Go! :) Enjoy your Christmas. :)

December 22, 2010 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

Well my change happened when I started dating Steve. His family always celebrates on Christmas eve so we are with his family then and my family on Christmas Day. It's so wonderful not having to drive to two places in one day for the holidays.

This isn't related to Christmas, but for Thanksgiving and Easter we actually switch and spend every other one with our families. This year we were with my family for Easter and Thanksgiving so in 2011 we will be with Steve's family. It works so out so nicely! Both Steve and I love the schedule we came up with.

December 22, 2010 at 2:45 PM  

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